Tag Archives: squash

My Heart is

Squash and Beet Risotto 

squash_beet_risotto

Yep – winter is here and I’m already ready for spring.  Temperatures have been unusually cold, dipping in to single digits when wind chill is included which is just way too cold for mid-November.   However this is the perfect time to just stay in the kitchen and experiment with new-to-me ingredients and all sorts of flavor profiles.  Or throw a bunch of random vegetables in to a dish and see what happens – which is what happened here.  I had a bit of delicata squash left, along with two candy-stripped beets, and half a vidalia onion.  So I went for a random grain, in this case arborio rice, and started chopping!

Beet and Squash Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup delicata squash, peeled and chopped (reserve any seeds)
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 small beets, peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a 2qt sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  2. Meanwhile heat the vegetable stock in a small pot over medium heat, ideally should be at a strong simmer but not boiling.
  3. Add the rice to the garlic onion mixture, stir well, and then add the white wine and milk. Allow rice to soak up the milk and wine, stirring to prevent sticking. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add the vegetable stock in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. After adding 2 cups, add the chopped squash along with a 1/2 cup of liquid.
  4. In a small saute pan, heat up the remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute before adding the beet slices. Cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent them from burning.
  5. The risotto is ready when it no longer absorbs any liquid. Remove from heat and stir for about 3 minutes, then fold in the beet slices. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

When using a diary free milk, make sure to grab plain/unsweetened for this dish.

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/my-heart-is.html

In order to avoid a pink blob, I held off on adding the beets until the last possible moment.  Not only did this ensure they were super crispy, but it also gave the squash an opportunity to shine on its own.  In the future I would most likely going for a strong squash, acorn perhaps, but there is something to be said about the subtle taste of delicata.   I enjoyed my risotto topped with a bit of pepper, while Joe was more traditional and went for the Parmesan cheese.

Mysterious As

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Welcome to Group A’s April installment of Secret Recipe Club!  Every month I wait with baited breath to see what amazing blog I get partnered with and this month I was thrilled to see a blog I was very (VERY) familiar with.  I have been following Evelyne’s Cheap Ethnic Eats since before there was a Dancing Veggies and it was after stumbling onto the International Incident Party link-ups that I decided to take my (now) hubby’s offer to build me a blog.  So a HUGE thanks to Evelyne (and the other blogs of IIP) for inspiring me to go forth and blog!   Needless to say picking one recipe from her blog was a rather difficult task but I was able to narrow things down to a top 10 by focusing on recipes that featured ingredients or cooking styles that are outside my normal range.  Which is why I was debating such things as Coconut Brownie Waffles, Greek Yogurt Cheesecake, and Multi-Vegetable Paella before settling on her Roasted Vegetable Couscous.  For the most part I stick with recipes that are either on the stove or in the oven as I’m normally restricted on cooking time thanks to the fur children.  However some rather intense weather freed up the time normally reserved for dog walking, so I decided to heat up the kitchen and get to work!

Mysterious As

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered (about 1 cup)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups pre-soaked chickpeas, well rinsed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dry couscous

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Place the squash, zucchini, and mushrooms in a roasting pan and top with half of the olive oil. Roasted for 20 minutes, then remove pan and add the tomatoes. Roast for a final 10 minutes.
  3. Towards the end of the roasting time heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic and red onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and add to the pan with the onion/garlic.
  5. Add the stock, raisins, chickpeas tomato paste, salt and couscous. Bring mixture to a boil, then stir, cover, and turn heat down to low. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, or until couscous has finished cooking.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/04/mysterious-as.html

I switched up the vegetables from the original recipe, but that’s one of the awesome things about this recipe – anything will work!  I also cooked the couscous directly in the sauce in order to save a dish, which resulted in some ultra flavorful couscous, and added more chickpeas instead of serving it with the tofu since DH is on a no-soy diet.  In the future I might be tempted to just do all the veggies in a saute pan rather then roasting, but there is something to be said about a fresh roasted tomato.  All in all another awesome recipe thanks to Cheap Ethnic Eats and the Secret Recipe Club!

Moving on Up

Zucchini Tian

Zucchini Tian

Greetings!  Sorry for the long space between posts, turns out that running a food blog while moving is much harder than I thought.  Luckily I am all settled in my temp place so had lots of time test out some new recipes, and in theory should be covered until the official move ends.  Luckily this isn’t a long distance move, just heading on up 95 from DC to Baltimore – which is still enough of a transition to make things interesting.  Add in the gov’t shutdown and things have been a little more stressful than normal.  We are still hoping to close on our new place on time, but unless the IRS goes back to work (feels so wrong to say that) by the 8th our closing will most likely be delayed.   Until then I’ll be camping out at my mom’s place – and her awesome kitchen – while my hubby is up north starting his new position.  Not the most ideal living situation, but at least we can see each other on weekends so could be much worse.

This past week I decided to make a list of all the blog/cooking challenges that I have over the next month in an attempt to organize my life.  This first recipe comes from /52weeksofcooking who are just finishing up a week dedicated to the incredible Julia Child.  While most of her recipes aren’t exactly vegetarian, or vegan, friendly I found a few side dishes that needed just a bit of tweaking in order to go from awesome side to spectacular entree.  In the end I decided to go with her zucchini tian since squash in all forms are in abundance at the local markets – wahOo Indian Summer!!!   In order to make this in to a healthy veggie friendly entree I added some chickpeas for protein, switched the white rice for brown, and left the butter out.   I also used almond milk in place of dairy and vegan shredded cheese.

Moving on Up

Serves: Serves 4 as a main

Serves 6-8 as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water (optional)
  • 1 cup pre-cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups pre-soaked garbanzo beans
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese plus 2 tbsp - Parmesan or Mozzarella
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Grate the zucchini into a strainer, and have the strainer over a bowl. Lightly salt the zucchini/squash and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for 10 minutes or until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  3. While the garlic/onion cook squeeze the water out of the squash using the strainer to catch and loose zucchini and the bowl below to catch the juice. Once the moister has been removed pour the juice in to a microwave safe measuring cup. Add the milk to the cup along with enough water to make 2 cups of liquid. Heat in microwave until mixture is warm, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Add the flour to the onion/garlic mixture, toss well and then slowly add in the juice milk mixture while continuing to stir. Once all the liquid has been poured in add the grated zucchini along with the 1/3 cup cheese. Bring everything to a quick bowl, and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a casserole dish, then add the precooked brown rice and the drained beans and stir in the zucchini mixture. Top with the 2 tbsp of cheese and then bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbling and the middle is brown.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/10/moving-on-up.html

When it came time for serving I enjoyed  it with just a bit more pepper while my mom went for Parmesan cheese, which is exactly how my hubby would enjoy this dish so I was entertained.  For lunch the next day I added a bit of fresh avocado to perk it up, after debating to serve it on top of salad greens.  This might not be the prettiest dish out there, but it’s certainly delicious.

NaNa NaNa

Summer Squash Sauce

Summer Squash Sauce

For one of my Secret Recipe Club entries this month I did a delicious baked polenta, however I needed a topping for it.  Since I’m trying to avoid grocery shopping right now I was stuck using whatever was in my fridge: onion, garlic, squash, tomatoes, a variety of beans, a bit of yogurt, and a lot of herbs.  I decided to start throwing things together to make a thick and very colorful topping for my delicious polenta.  The resulting dish was healthy and gorgeous, and delicious enough that the next day I got a lunch time text from my hubby saying he “loved the polenta squash stuff”.

NaNa NaNa

serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 yellow squash, around 2 cups sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans, presoaked and well-rinsed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water (or vegetable stock)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5-7 minutes before adding the squash.
  2. Once the squash has started to get soft, around 10 minutes, add the beans, tomatoes, and herbs. Stir well and then add the Greek yogurt along with the water (or vegetable stock).
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes, then season to taste and Serve!

Notes

I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt (plain) but regular dairy will probably work - or soy based!

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/08/nana-nana.html

I enjoyed this dish as is while Joe topped his with some Parmesan cheese, either way it was incredible!  I used yellow squash for this but zucchini would work just as well, and this time of year both vegetables are certainly in abundance.  As I mentioned, I served this over polenta but would also work great over brown rice or orzo.

Told Me To

Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna

Greetings!  Hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July – and is now having a great weekend.  Summer is finally starting to arrive, and the sun is finally shining.  My garden isn’t as far along as it was last year but thankfully the local farmer’s markets aren’t having those issues.  This layered treat is essentially a lasagna without the lasagna, just squash and other delicious vegetables.  I kept things nice and simple and focused on vegetables that are currently in season, also making this the perfect Simple and in Season recipe!

Vegetable Lasagna

Serves: Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lb spinach, well washed and loosely torn
  • 2 Zucchini, cut lengthwise
  • 2 straight yellow squash, cut lengthwise
  • 3 beets, grated
  • 2 cup baby bella mushrooms, halved
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup ricotta, divided
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the diced roma tomatoes along with the spices. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 and lightly oil the bottom and side of a 9x9 dish
  3. Meanwhile, place a single layer of squash/zucchini and top with a quarter of the grated beet along with 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese followed by the spinach, mushrooms, and a layer of the beefsteak tomato slices. Build another layer and then top with half of the tomato sauce before making the final two layers.
  4. Top with the remaining sauce along with the grated cheeses. Cover the dish in tin foil and then bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a final 10 minutes.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/07/told-me-to.html

I’m looking forward to doing this again in a few weeks with vegetables from my own garden but until then I’m lucky to have so many great farms just down the road.  Hopefully the sun will continue to shine and the temperatures will stay up as I can’t wait to start enjoying tomatoes and eggplant that are as local as local gets!