Tag Archives: squash

Chopstick Kebabs

If you’re like me and Brent, you’ve got a drawer filled with chopsticks from your favorite Asian takeout or delivery. We decided to try and get rid of some by making kebabs. Along with those we used the following:
1 block of tofu, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes (omit or replace with seitan if you’re got a soy allergy)
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 1 inch squares
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 carton baby bella mushrooms
1 carton of cherry tomatoes
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Other things that can make kebabs awesome include basil leaves, sliced jalapeños and other hot peppers, and any other veggies that can withstand being skewered. We assembled the kebabs and then placed them into a dish filled with marinade (tamari seasoned to taste with ginger extract and garlic works well, but store bought varieties work well too) until we were ready to cook them (at least an hour). Bake at 350F/175C for 45 minutes or grill until the veggies are tender if you’re so inclined.

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Wait for them to cool and EAT THEM! Now there’s space in our drawer for more chopsticks.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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A Salute to Saluyot

I’m extra excited about my Dad’s garden this summer! I have always felt like his garden was really unique because of the weird veggies he grows. I distinctly remember a science project where we had to bring different leaves from around our neighborhood to school. I’m the kid who brought eggplant and bitter melon leaves.

Saluyot is one of the plants that my Dad basically farms every summer.

Saluyot should be cooked; I’ve never eaten it raw or heard of it being prepared raw. It’s slimy when cooked, similar to okra, and will slime-ify the liquid that it’s cooked in. Any online information on the nutritional benefits of saluyot are kind of sketchy, but I can tell you that this plant is good for you along with being filling.

One of the many ways that we prepare saluyot is by cooking it in coconut milk with bamboo shoots.

We usually add shrimp to this, but my Mom set aside a vegan version for me. The bamboo shoots were super fresh so this tasted great — no salt or other embellishment needed. Another dish we recently had with saluyot involved squash, long beans, and eggplant (the first eggplant from our garden this season).

My Mom was the mastermind behind these dishes, so I’m sorry that I don’t have more pics or a real recipe to share. It’s only just begun, though, so you can expect more fresh veggie dishes using items picked from my parents’ backyard!

Are you growing veggies this summer? –Melissa

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Butternut Squash Ribs or: How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love the Squash

Before becoming vegan, I wasn’t a huge fan of gourds. I wasn’t a fan of the texture or the flavor of those I sampled. But as I say about tofu, I probably didn’t like it because it hadn’t been prepared properly.

The butternut squash we used for this culinary experiment sat in our veggie bowl for well over a week. I’d venture to say more than two, even. What I’m trying to say is it kept really well in spite of our best efforts to ignore it. When it finally came time to disguise the gourd as something delicious, a simple and elegant plan formed in Christie’s brain : enter butternut squash ribs.

Prep for these badboys is deceptively simple:

  1. Cut the squash  into rib-like shapes
  2. Coat in barbecue sauce
  3. Toss in the oven
  4. Wait.

That being said, the star of the show will be the sauce (pronounced sow-suh). We’d encourage you to make your own. We cheated. We got two sauces from OrganicVille; a tangy and a regular variety. This particular brand’s sauces are tasty. Tasty and gluten-free, that is.

Preheat your oven to 400ºF, and once you have properly covered the ‘ribs’ in sauce, arrange them on a baking sheet and toss them in. The objective here is to heat up the ‘ribs’ so the sauce caramelizes a bit and helps soften up the squash, as this variety is decidedly hard uncooked. So, leave it in there for a half hour or until you are satisfied with the softness as gauged by stabbing it with a fork.

Finally, enjoy dem ‘ribs’. The texture for ours was slightly chewy, but harder approaching the rind. Add more sauce as necessary, of course, and don’t be afraid to spice it up if it doesn’t meet your oral expectations.

Peace out, my vegans.

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Vegan Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto… want some?

I have been missing this comfort food so I decided to make some. I’ve never had so many pots and pans out at once. I’m a lazy simple girl when it comes to food and this was a first. You’ll need a baking sheet, a sauce pan, and 2 medium fry pans. You’ll need the following:
1/2 cup of arborio rice (this is more than enough for 2 servings)
1/2 liter of water
1 cube of veggie bouillon
1 cup of butternut squash
1 quart of baby bello mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/4 onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
herbes de provence
white wine, I prefer pinot grigio for this recipe. Just use something you would drink. Don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink. That’s just nasty.

I cut the top off my butternut squash (guestimating a cup) and wrapped it in tinfoil. I put it in the oven at 350F/175C for about 30-45 minutes or until the skin gets translucent and it starts to become tender.

Set it aside to cool.
I put about half a liter of water into my sauce pan along with a bouillon cube and brought it to a boil. Then I turned the heat to low.

While I was waiting for the water to boil, I added the onion, garlic and olive oil to one of my fry pans and heated them until they began to sputter. Then I added the mushrooms and turned the heat to medium-low and began cooking the rice.

I put the rice in a fry pan with a cup of wine and a generous pinch of herbes de provence. I turned the heat to low. I sliced up the squash (no skin) into 1 cm cubes and added it to the risotto.

I added the broth 1/2 cup or so at a time until the rice began to get tender and the liquid was mostly absorbed. It should be translucent except for a little bit in the middle that should still be opaque white when it’s done. You might not use all the broth. I mixed in my mushrooms and added a tablespoon of nutritional yeast but I do that to everything. I garnished it with some basil from my balcony garden.

I was pretty pleased with my ability to make some serious comfort food. If you get to try it, let me know what changes you’d make to improve it.

This is Christie, signing off.

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