Stuffed Acorn Squash

I adore winter squashes and end up buying several without a plan for how to use later. This acorn squash had been sitting on my bar for a few weeks and hubby was wondering when we would eat it. I decided to make something pretty, easy, and yummers.

What you will need:

1 acorn squash, washed

1 cup uncooked rice, I used Jasmine

1 bouillon cube, I used vegetable with herbs

1 4oz can diced hot green chilies

1 small onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 small box of button mushrooms, washed and sliced/chopped

1 Teaspoon avocado oil, or other oil you prefer. The chilies and vegetables provide a lot of moisture, so not much oil is needed

1/2 cup pine nuts

Cook the rice with the bouillon cube, according to the directions that accompany the rice.

Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat until slightly browned, set aside.

Place the squash in a microwave safe glass dish with lid. Cook on high for 10 minutes. If soft when touched, it is ready. If still stiff, cook another 2 minutes.

Sauté all other ingredients in a large pan on medium until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat. Add pine nuts. Add rice when it is ready and stir all together.

Once squash is cooked, slice through the middle and let cool for a couple minutes. Careful, it’s very hot. Using a spoon, remove the seeds from each half. Place each half on a plate and spoon in the rice mixture to the squash crater. Place more rice mixture on plate and serve. Yummers!

Tip: This makes enough stuffing for two acorn squashes.


Rising Moon Ravioli

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Every once in a while I want raviolis. Luckily, I can consistently find at least one brand that makes vegan ones good enough to eat. Pair this with some homemade sauce and garlic bread for a filling and yummy dinner. Yummers!

Not Spaghetti

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This was another night when I had several ingredients that seemed unrelated, but I was hungry and had little time. It turned out delicious. What you will need:

1 spaghetti squash

1 broccoli head, or more

Your favorite spaghetti sauce, I had some of my homemade sauce in the freezer

Non-meatballs, also had in the freezer

Wash outside of squash and place in a microwave safe dish with a lid. Microwave for 10 minutes and check if soft. If not soft yet, microwave in two minute increments until soft. Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces and steam. Prepare spaghetti sauce and non-meatballs as indicated on package or defrost from freezer if homemade.

Once squash is soft, carefully cut in half and let cool a few minutes. Scoop out the seeds and then the meat of the squash. Place squash meat onto plates. Layer with broccoli and non-meat balls and cover with sauce. Yummers!

Zucchini Brownies

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‘Tis the season for giant zucchinis. Gardens are spitting them out all over town. When they get giant, they are best for baking into yummy things. I decided to try my hand at turing one into brownies and was amazed at the outcome. Seriously, these are fantastic. What you will need:

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups shredded zucchini, if using an extra large one, remove the hard seeds

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup almond or soy milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl. Stir until mixed well and chunky. Sift in the flours, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir. The batter will be very dry. Stir in the zucchini. The batter will become very moist. Stir in 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips. Place batter in a large casserole dish. Make batter even in dish and bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

While brownies are cooling, make a ganache with the remaining chocolate chips and almond/soy milk. Place both ingredients in a sauce pan and melt over low heat until well combined. Be careful not to burn the chocolate by stiring the entire time. Once combined, pour over the brownies.

It’s ready to eat or can sit longer. Serve with fresh berries for even more yummy!


Red Quinoa Pot

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I had a bag of red quinoa in my pantry… I know, right? How does something this cool just sit in my pantry?? Anyway, I made this delicious pot of yummy that is worth making again. What you will need:

2 cups red quinoa

1 bouillon cube, veggie and herbs with sea salt

1/2 an onion, diced

1/2 pound red chard

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp avocado oil

12 oz cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Cook quinoa according to directions on package and add the bouillon cube to the cooking water. Microwave butternut squash in covered dish for six minutes. In a pan, sauté onion, garlic, and chard in avocado oil until the chard and onion soften, 7-12 minutes. Add the butternut squash and make sure everything is cooked to the consistency you prefer. Remove from heat. Add quinoa and almonds and stir. Serve hot. Yummers!

Pumpkin Pie

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The CSA gave us a pie pumpkin, so I had to make a pie. Yummers! It had been years since starting from an actual pumpkin, but I was up for the adventure. What you will need:

1 real pie pumpkin, these are smaller and more round than carving pumpkins

1/2 cup agave

1 and 1/2 cups vegan sour cream, one tub of Tofutti sour cream fits the need

1 TBS molasses

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cloves

1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pumpkin in microwave safe container with lid for 10 minutes, press on the pumpkin to make sure fully cooked and then cut open and remove seeds. Once cool enough, scoop out pumpkin meat and mash with a potato masher. If desiring a smoother consistency, place pumpkin meat into a food processor and puree. Measure out two cups of pumpkin and place in a bowl with the other ingredients. Mix well and pour into pie crust. Bake for 60 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes to set the pie and eat it up yum!


Winter Squash

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Winter squash is a wonderful addition to almost any dinner, and Thanksgiving almost demands it.

The thought of making squash used to bum me out. I would fight to get it cut in half, scoop out the seeds, turn up my oven, set the halves in a pan with water to bake for what seemed like forever, and then spend more time than I wanted to clean the pan. Yes, dread was a good word for it. This process actually discouraged me from the yummy that is winter squash. No longer.

There is a super easy way to make winter squash. For someone like me who can often struggle with time, this is my answer.

Wash the outside of the squash. Place squash in a microwave safe dish with lid. Cook for 10 minutes. Using a pot holder, check that the squash is very soft to touch. If not, cook another two minutes check again, repeat until soft. Once soft, let cool a few minutes and use a large knife to cut open for faster cooling. When ready, scoop out seeds and serve. Yummy! Oh, so much easier!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Fall has officially begun and thus I am now dreaming of holiday feasts.

I have tried various ways to note holidays with vegan cooking. Certainly bringing vegan options to a non-vegan family or friend dinner has happened and people are always surprised at the yumminess. I have also hosted vegan feasts with family and/or friends. The most interesting adventure was several years ago when I learned about a vegan Thanksgiving feast in a nearby town. I remember paying a nominal fee and then showed up to multiple yummy options and an afternoon with vegans I had not met before. It was very enjoyable. If I ever find one of those again, I will certainly go.

Anyway, enough storytelling, with feasts coming soon, I thought it might be helpful to start sharing some vegan options. This cheesecake is super easy and delicious. What you need:

12 oz firm silken tofu

8 oz non-hydrogenated vegan cream cheese, I like Tofutti

1 cup canned pumpkin, not spiced

1 cup sugar

3 TBS white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 prepared graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 350. Puree all filling ingredients in a food processor. This can be accomplished in batches if, like mine, the food processor is small. Pour into crust and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, cover, and refrigerate at least six hours or overnight before serving. Yum!

Squash Stew

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It’s cold outside and finding time to cook during the week can be a struggle. My solution: a crock pot! I love coming home to a yummy smelling kitchen with a giant pot of stew almost ready to eat. Leftovers are frozen in portion sized containers for later.

I have a giant crock pot, so half the recipe if yours is smaller.

2 acorn squashes, cooked (see below), seeded, and diced

1 onion, diced

1 ½ cups Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix by Red Mill

1 bunch purple kale, stems removed and chopped

2 turnips, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 package Tofurkey Italian Sauage, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper

2 Not-Beef bouillion cube

1 Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillion, no salt added

10 cups water

½ cup nutritional yeast

Place acorn squash in a microwave safe dish with a lid and microwave for 10 minutes. When it beeps, if the squash is soft, let it cool. If not yet soft, cook another two minutes and test again. Repeat until the squash is soft. Once cool, slice open, de-seed, and scoop out the yummy part. Cut large pieces into smaller ones if needed.

Place all ingredients, except the nutritional yeast, in the crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. With a potato masher, mash the squash until an consistency you desire. Stir in nutritional yeast and enjoy.