Monday, October 31, 2016

Savory Candy Roaster Squash Soup

Last week I traveled to Western North Carolina for a few days.  While at the Jackson County Extension Center, I was introduced to this amazingly large, orange-pinkish winter squash: the candy roaster!  It's known for its sweet, unique flavor.  It's great for making pies, soups, and roasting in the oven.

The candy roaster is native to southern Appalachian (Western North Carolina and North Georgia) and was originally bred by Cherokee tribes in the 1800s.  According to the Jackson County Cooperative Extension, the availability of seeds for this heirloom squash is a concern since it can accidentally cross-pollinate other varieties of squash at distances of up to 1 mile!   

The squash can grow to weigh between 10 and 250 pounds! Naturally, I was intrigued so I purchased one from a local farmer.  Listed below is my soup recipe.  It's essentially a butternut squash soup recipe, but I replaced the butternut squash  with the very large candy roaster!

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 2-3 cups candy roaster squash
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chili power
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Depending on how large your squash is, you might need to cut it into sections. Fortunately, I was able to use a large kitchen knife to cut through the squash -- it's less dense than a butternut squash.  After cutting the squash into smaller sections, remove the skins with a small knife or vegetable peeler.

Chop the candy roaster squash into 1 inch cubes.  Set aside.  Chop the remaining vegetables (sweet potato, carrots, and cauliflower).  In a large pot over medium heat, saute the garlic in olive oil.  Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and sauce for 3-5 minutes.  Add the turmeric, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Next, pour the vegetable broth into the pot and make sure it barely covers all the chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.  
Blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender in small batches and blend until smooth.  

When plating, you can also add a few pecans or walnut as a garnish.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cauliflower Ravioli

  • 1 small cauliflower (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dairy/non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 package egg-roll wraps
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower until tender (about 3-5 minutes). Transfer cooked cauliflower to food processor or blender. Add milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until consistency of ricotta cheese.

Remove egg roll wraps and place on flat surface. Lightly coat wraps with olive oil. Add 4 equal spoonfuls of cauliflower on wrap.  Layer with another wrap.  Seal the edges and cut into 4 ravioli.

Meanwhile, add oil to a skillet and sauté garlic over low heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Place ravioli in skillet and turn heat to medium/high.  Sauté ravioli until golden-brown on each side.

Serve with your choice of veggies, protein, and sauce.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Vegan Black Bean Chili

Me doing a cooking demo for CNP
  • 1 tsp olive oil  
  • 1 onion, diced small  
  • 2 cloves garlic  
  • 1 pound squash or zucchini, cut into medium dices  
  • 1 cup fresh corn (about 2 ears of corn)  
  • 1 cup veggie broth  
  • 2 T chili powder  
  • 1 tsp ground cumin  
  • 1 tsp dried oregano  
  • 2 tomatoes, diced  
  • 2 T tomato paste  
  • 1 (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed  
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat large pot over medium-high heat.  Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in pot until translucent.  Add squash or zucchini, corn, veggie broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper.  Cover pot and bring to a boil.

After the pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste and black beans.  Cover the pot and cook for about 10 more minutes.