Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Bang for your Butternut Buck

I lurve me some butternut squash...but I always pass it up in the grocery store unless it's pre-cubed.
Well fear the squash no more, I did a little research in my Madhur Jaffrey cook book, and they're much easier to handle than I thought and were the star of two meals I made this month.

First, the prep.
Cut the stem from the bulb of the squash and peel.
Slice the peeled stem into 1/4 or 1/2 inch slices, then cube.
Scoop the seeds out of the bulb and peel and slice in the same manner.
*I did not peel and slice the bulbs as they inspired me to make a stuffed butternut squash bowl*

The cubed squash was used in a yummy winter curry I brought to a gathering of fellow staff from Ananda Yoga and Massage. Several of us follow a gluten-free diet and some are vegetarian and this was a great dish to share. It was also another excuse to use my tamarind concentrate and new mortar and pestle ~smile~

1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 cups cubed potatoes
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add the onions and saute until translucent.

In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt and cayenne. When onions are translucent, add the spice mixture and cook 1 minute while stirring. Add potatoes, squash and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until veggies are barely tender (15 min).

In a small bowl, dissolve the tamarind in a few tablespoons of the hot cooking liquid then add to the vegetables. Add tomatoes, chickpeas and cilantro. Cover and simmer for 10 min.

Serve on rice if desired, add some plain yogurt or fresh cilantro to the top.

Now...what did I do with the squash bulbs?
Well I add this to my long list of "Mommy made it up" dinners.
I've been using this phrase, "Mommy made it up..." for years when I'm asked what's for dinner,  and my daughter will tell you, these MMIU recipes are the BEST dinners and she says I should write a book :)

Ingredients (to the best of my recollection)

3 squash bulbs, seeded (not peeled)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 zucchini squash, cubed (not peeled)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 package shitaki mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c parmesean cheese

1 slice Muenster cheese
(check out these vegan cheese options)

Heat oil in medium sauce pan and saute onions and garlic until the house smells so good even the neighbors want dinner. Add zucchini and let cook for 1 minute, add mushrooms and parmesean cheese and stir to coat. Remove from heat.
before heading into the oven for an hour and half nap
Place 1/3 slice of Muenster cheese in the bottom of each squash bowl.
Stuff each bowl with mushroom mixture and cook at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hour under ventilated tin-foil tent.

Let me tell you , this is UBER nom nom nom.
The squash cooks up just right and keeps all the other veggies moist during the cooking time. The whole fam enjoyed it and it's on the MTAL (make this again list)


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