Friday, October 10, 2008

The Accidental Vegan; Squash, Squash and More Squash

Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Acorn Squash with Miso Glaze, and Tofu Zucchini Stir-Fry with Edamame

I have a boyfriend who, bless his heart, eats his vegetables. Thankfully, he does not suffer from the all-too-common affliction of "Bachelorexia", caused by existing on a diet of hot dogs, Easy Mac and Mountain Dew and characterized by a persistent pallor and distracted, vacant expression. My fine fellow eats his veggies and likes them! He likes them even better when they're handed to him, on a plate and tastily prepared.

So with an autumn chill creeping into the air, we both found ourselves with a hankering for squash. I recently developed a scrumptious (and unbelievably easy) butternut squash soup, which goes fantastically well with toasted sourdough. I also roasted some acorn squash in a miso glaze, and sliced up a zucchini (also a squash) for tofu stir fry with edamame.

When my beau arrived, he was astounded at the preponderance of squash. I thought briefly about it, and realized that I had cooked a three-course meal that was inadvertantly completely vegan. I am not a vegan, but I have to admit I learned a lot the summer in college when I lived and cooked with a bunch of them. Little tricks, like adding toasted nuts to pilaf, make things so much tastier, even if you serve them alongside some prime rib. Oh, and I'll need to remember to post a recipe for the Indian squash curry (also, as luck would have it, suitable for vegans) I made last night. Yum...

Butternut Squash Soup

1 package frozen pureed squash
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup cooking sherry
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat the vegetable stock in a pot, then add the frozen squash and let it defrost. Once it has thawed completely, add the sherry, brown sugar (depending on how sweet you'd like it), and the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and let cook for 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off for 5 minutes before serving. If soup is too thick, add a little extra stock as necessary.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Miso Glaze

1 acorn squash, cut into 1" slices
2 tsp miso paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil

Mix the seasonings together and rub all over the slices of acorn squash. Place them on an oiled cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure they are not burning. Squash is cooked if it yields easily when poked with a fork. You can add sugar or other seasonings to the glaze, but I find the natural sweetness of the squash to be enough. *Actually, I just learned that what I used was called a "Carnival Squash". Whatever- you could do this with just about anything you can roast.

Tofu Zucchini Stir-Fry with Edamame

2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced in half-circles
1 cup frozen edamame (steamed soy beans)
1 block tofu, cubed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
Rice vinegar (to taste)
Sesame oil (to taste)
Black pepper
2-3 scallions, chopped

In a skillet, sautee the garlic and ginger briefly in the oil, then add the onions. Cook until lightly browned, then add the zucchini. Add the tofu and seasonings, and mix well. Add the frozen edamame, and cook until thawed and heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding vinegar, sugar or pepper as you prefer. Top with the scallions and serve over rice.

1 comment:

Tom B. said...

Your "fine fellow" enthusiastically recommends the butternut squash soup to anyone reading this. It's healthy AND hearty!