Tag Archives | vegetarian

stuffed delicata squash: two ways

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Stuffed delicata squash is a fantasic fall dish. Creamy sweet inside like a sweet potato, one of the benefits of this winter squash is that the rind can be roasted and eaten, another is that it’s easy to slice into. Squash boats can accomodate a wide range of stuffing variations which overall are easy to prepare. It’s a meal that can satisfy meat lovers to vegivores alike. It also makes for an impressive side dish. Recipe and directions below.

Roasted Squash
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice two prewashed squash lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Drizzle or rub a 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil on all sides, and set the squash face down in a baking plan. Place in the oven for roughly 15-20 minutes. The squash should be soft yet firm.

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Mushroom Stuffed Delicata Squash
1 cup chopped mushrooms such as cremini, button, shiitake or a mix
1 medium diced shallot
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
2-3 teaspoons Parmesean cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
* 1 delicata squash

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While the squash is roasting in the oven, begin preparing the stuffing. Heat the oil in a pan and add the shallots followed by the chopped mushrooms. Add a dash of salt and cook on medium heat for several minutes until the mushrooms reduce. Then add the liquid to the pan and continue cooking. Add a bit of the breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be moist, not too dry. The cheese can be added at this stage, leaving a bit to top the squash. If aiming for a vegan dish, omit the cheese altogether. Add the seasoning, taste and adjust as needed. When the squash is out of the oven, gently scoop out the center and add it to the pan. Be sure to leave the rind intact. Mix the squash with the mushroom mixture. When combined, spoon the stuffing into both sides of the squash. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place the stuffed squash back into a baking dish and into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove when the top is slighghtly brown. Garnish before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash
1 sausage link, decased
1 medium diced shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
2-3 teaspoons Parmesean cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or oregano
Kosher salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
* 1 delicata squash

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Similar to the mushroom-stuffed preparation above, while the squash is roasting in the oven, begin preparing the stuffing. Heat the oil in a pan and add the shallots followed by the sausage. Add a bit of the breadcrumbs and cheese, leaving a bit to top the squash later, mix thoroughly. Add the seasoning, taste and adjust as needed. When the squash is out of the oven, gently scoop out the center and add it to the pan. Be sure to leave the rind intact. Mix the squash with the sausage mixture. When the sausage is browned and combined with the squash, spoon the stuffing into both sides of the squash boat. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place the stuffed squash back into a baking dish and into the oven for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped scallions or parsely before serving.

Stuffed delicious delicata squash. Enjoy!

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the conscious cook: chef tal ronnen’s corn chowder

yumivorecornchowder (3)

One of my favorite meals year-round is soup. In the San Francisco Bay Area we often experience cool evenings throughout the summer, so even then soups and chowders are perfect to warm up with. This corn chowder recipe is meant for fresh picked summer corn, but don’t let that stop you if you only have frozen sweet corn to work with. Dreaming of warm sunny days, I decided to try and bring summer back and put it in my bowl. With no shortage of cold weather, hearty creamy soups have a place at the table and I couldn’t resist making this. Being it’s also the last days of National Soup Month, I also couldn’t resist sharing.

I often opt for creamy soups sans the cream. More often than not, my taste buds don’t even miss the cream and this chowder is a delicious example of a thick, creamy hearty soup that’s satisfying and delectable. I first stumbled upon Chef Tal Ronnen in an L.A. Times article. Curious about vegan dishes, the phrase: ‘Be a “vegan” who eats bacon‘ stuck with me. A lover of fine cheeses and honey, a daily dose of a latte or cappuccino, a scoop of ice cream or gelato now and then, and the occasional kebab (made only with meat raised with care) not to mention sustainable seafood and fish – the point being, that though a conscious eater I’m not sure I can join the vegan camp, but I can be someone who loves vegan dishes. As the chef put it in Rene Lynch‘s interview: “if you are cutting back on the amount of meat that you eat, you’re still doing something great for your health [and] for the planet…”. Whatever food philosophy you follow, vegan, vegetarian, supporter of Meatless Monday and or a yumivore, consumer of yum, this soup is one to try.

With slight adaptation, recipe from The Conscious Cook:

Chef Tal Ronnen’s Corn Chowder
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions (the chef suggest Vidalia)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 red bell pepper cut into ¼-inch dice
5 cups vegetarian stock or faux chicken stock
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp chipotle pepper
1 package (roughly 10 oz or more) frozen corn; in season use fresh
1½ cups thick Cashew Cream
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives or scallions

Makes 6 servings

Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the olive oil, followed by the onions, carrots, celery and bell pepper. Stir. Add the seasonings: chipotle pepper, a bit of the fresh ground black pepper, a pinch of salt and thyme. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock, potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, roughly 15 to 20 minutes. To thicken the soup, smash some of the potatoes with a spoon against the side of the pot and stir to together. Add the corn and Cashew Cream, season with the rest of salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve hot. Garnish with chives or scallions.

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The Cashew Cream is what makes the soup so creamy and filling; though an added step to make, I’ve used the cream in a few other recipes already (including one I whipped up on my own). I used chipotle pepper in powder form from Penzeys Spices (versus a dried chipotle pepper as noted in the original recipe). Either way, I love chipotle pepper and it adds a smoky flavor to the chowder. If you’re lucky to be near a Lyfe Kitchen restaurant to try the soup, be sure you do. I’m a big fan of Lyfe and have the chowder there often. I look forward to whipping this recipe up many more times in my own kitchen, including with a bounty of fresh summer corn. Hope you’ll join me and try it as well. Hot soup in cold weather, no doubt this corn chowder is a little bit of summer in a bowl.

yumivoreconsciouscook
Learn more about Tal Ronnen
Taste another of Tal Ronnen’s recipes on yumivore: Tropical Tapioca
Follow L.A. Times Food @latimesfood
Read Tal Ronnen says make it vegan but make it delicious
Check out Lyfe
Catch Tal in action making Cream of Asparagus Soup

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cabbage and fennel soup with toasted garlic chips

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It must have been the garlic chips. Admittedly this soup wasn’t at the top of my list of things to make. I don’t think it was even on my radar. But the garlic chips stopped me. So I reviewed the recipe a little longer, and somehow the thought of cabbage along with the crisp anise flavor of fennel, and it was a go. Cabbage and fennel are both in season now, and I often have fennel on hand in my fridge. Simple and straightforward, I figured it would be a tangy soup to enjoy in January. Sausage could be a great addition, but after the gluttonous holidays, this vegetarian version is spot on. Sometimes your taste buds just know what they need (at least mine do), and this soup seemed to be right. A light and cleansing broth with added potatoes, it’s a warming way to rejuvenate in the cold weather. I like things on the spicy side so I added chili oil for heat and a small spritz of lime for added punch.

From Sunset Magazine: Cabbage and Fennel Soup with Toasted Garlic Chips

Ingredients
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 large garlic cloves, sliced very thin
1 white onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, ends trimmed, halved and sliced, fronds reserved
1 qt. vegetable broth
1/2 head cabbage, cut into chunks
8 small red thin-skinned potatoes, cubed
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Flat-leaf parsley leaves
* chili oil recommended for some spice, or chili flakes
* lime livens things up a bit

Preparation
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add sliced garlic, cook, stirring often, until golden and slightly brown, roughly 4 minutes. Remove garlic from the pot and set aside. Sunset recommends to keep the garlic-infused oil in the pot as it will enhance the flavors of the soup. Add a bit of additional oil to the pot and warm over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel, and cook until translucent, roughly give or take 5 minutes. Add the broth (chicken broth is also an option if you have that on hand) 2 cups water, the shredded cabbage, cubed potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer; cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Top soup with fennel fronds, parsley, and garlic chips. Add a splash of chili oil before serving if so desired.

Fresh tangy flavors, the chili oil was a great addition to the recipe. The garlic chips were crunchy and wonderful on top of the hot vegetables and broth. This may not be decadent, or creamy rich but it does get the “mmmm” out and sometimes that’s all you need. It does look incredibly inviting, and ultimately that’s probably what made me stop to try it. So pull up a seat, and enjoy a hot bowl of soup!

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walnut pâté

Likely I would share recipes more often if it weren’t for the fact that my props often get eaten before I had a chance to photograph them, and my home recipes are often in “a little of this and a little of that” quantities. This recipe for walnut pâté is no exception. I admit it, I break the food photography rules and nibble as I work.

But let’s get to the benefits of this dish beyond the fact that I love the taste of walnuts. This edible seed has a sweet yet slightly savory earthiness to it, and after it’s roasted it’s hard not to keep reaching for some to pop in your mouth. Walnuts are a healthy and great addition to your diet if you need an excuse to enjoy them. Interestingly, when finely ground and blended with the simplest of seasonings and creamy textures, you won’t necessarily taste the nut. But I can assure you this pâté, made with walnuts as a key ingredient, is a crowd-pleaser. It’s also a conversation starter; walnut pâté sounds intriguing. Easy to prepare, it can be made in either a vegetarian or vegan variation which makes it suitable for most everyone.

I first tasted this appetizer in Israel years ago and it was coined as a “vegetarian chopped liver”. If you’ve had chopped liver before and enjoy it, you’ll agree the name doesn’t scream deliciousness. Chopped liver is made with chicken liver, sautéed onions in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or onions sautéed in canola oil, hard-boiled eggs and seasoned with black pepper and salt. The dish (and schmaltz) is popular in Jewish cuisine originating in Eastern Europe. Offal is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, but more importantly, it’s key to many cultures who look for ways to not waste edible animal parts. Find a Jewish delicatessen near you, or easy to whip up at home, try traditional chopped liver on a good piece of rye bread, or smothered on potato latkes (potato pancakes) for something decadent and it will be a holiday for your taste buds.


orly’s walnut pâté recipes

Vegetarian Walnut Pâté
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. butter or canola oil
2 generous cups of roasted walnuts
3 hard-boiled eggs
mayonnaise to taste
kosher salt to taste
black pepper; pure or fine ground

Sautée the onion in butter (or the canola oil) until caramelized, remove from heat. In a food processor purée the walnuts on pulse mode (you want the walnuts chopped until they’re very fine). Add the caramelized onion, two hard-boiled eggs and season with salt and pepper (and don’t be shy about it). Blend the mixture together and taste. If dry, for creaminess, add a taste of mayonnaise (less or more based on taste preference). The third hard-boiled egg can be added at this stage and either blended in completely or left a little chunky. Some versions of chopped liver have bits of chunky egg visible, it’s a taste preference or an opportunity to mimic what grandma used to make. Season with more salt or pepper as needed. For this version use regular mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s or Best Foods) not a vegan or low-fat variety. From my experience, a vegan mayonnaise will loose it’s consistency in the blender. If you like chopped liver, this vegetarian version will surprise you with it’s traditional flavor.


Vegan Walnut Pâté

1 large onion, chopped
canola oil
2 generous cups of roasted walnuts
1/3 package medium to firm tofu
kosher salt to taste
black pepper; pure or fine ground

Cut a chunk of the tofu and drain the water (silken tofu will be found in the refrigerator section of your market). Sautée the onion in canola oil until caramelized. Mix in the tofu on low heat to absorb the flavor of the onion, lightly season with salt and pepper. In a food processor purée the walnuts on pulse mode (you want the walnuts chopped until they’re fine, same as above). Add the caramelized onion and tofu mixture. Blend the mixture together. Season with more salt or pepper as needed. This version does not require mayonnaise, but for flavor a tad of vegan mayonnaise or “veganaise” can be added, mix gently. The vegan pâté will be a bit lighter in appearance than it’s vegetarian counterpart. Adjust both recipes by adding more seasoning based on your preference.

I serve my signature dish on many holidays and it’s always on the table for Passover. Spreading it on matzoh (also spelled matza, matzo or matzah) is a perfect and my preferred way of sharing it regardless of the time of year. The pâté also tops nicely on crisp green Granny Smith apples. The tart tang of the apples compliments the creamy-savory-sweetness of the spread. It makes a wonderful vegetarian or vegan appetizer if hosting an evening of wine for example and you want a delightful appetizer to present to guests. Easy to make and a delicious bite to enjoy, hope you enjoy a bite of walnut pâté!

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