Side Dish

Roasted Butternut Squash Chipotle Mac and “Cheese” (V)

I am so excited to be sharing this recipe! I made something similar a few years ago for a potluck, but I was itching for a revamp. Let’s be clear, this is not going to taste exactly like mac and cheese. It looks a bit like mac and cheese, it’s just as comforting and hearty, but the flavor profile is quite different. The sauce is made out of roasted butternut squash, sweet onions and roasted garlic. I  I added a bit of nutritional yeast,  paprika and chipotle seasoning and blended this up into a creamy sauce. I also added a can of canellini beans for extra protein. I had friends over to try this and it was a huge hit! Everyone went back for seconds…and thirds! It was also pretty easy to make! Scroll down all the way to the end for a printable recipe.

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To Prepare:

  1. On a baking sheet, toss cubed butternut squash and roughly chopped sweet onion with olive oil, himalayan sea salt, chipotle seasoning and paprika
  2. On the same baking sheet, wrap 2 heads of garlic in foil. I cut off  the tops to expose some of the flesh. DSC_0015
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender and caramelized. The garlic may need to stay in the oven for 10 additional minutes. DSC_0026
  4. Let this cool, and add the butternut squash, garlic and onion to a food processor. Add 1 cup of non-dairy milk, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast,  and puree, adding water or milk as necessary to get a smooth consistency. At this point, I taste the mixture to see if it needs more chipotle seasoning for spice or salt. DSC_0031
  5. In a pot, boil 1 package of pasta until al-dente. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to loosen the sauce later.
  6. Mix the sauce with the pasta and place in a baking dish. The pasta should be slightly runny, but be able to hold shape enough. Add pasta water or milk if the sauce is too thick. Add 1 can of canellini beans, rinsed.
  7. Cover with a layer of breadcrumbs and some pepitas, and return to the oven.
  8. Set the oven to the broil setting and broil the pasta until the top browns slightly. Remove, garnish with parsley and serve!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and 'Cheese'

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash cubed, or about 20 oz packet of butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • Pasta of choice (I used Rigatoni)
  • Non-dairy milk of choice (I used soy)
  • 1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed.
  • Chipotle seasoning
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Paprika
  • Himalayan Sea salt (regular salt is fine if you don’t  have it, but it is delicious! )
  • Optional toppings: Breadcrumbs, pepitas and parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the cubed butternut squash and roughly chopped sweet onion with olive oil, himalayan sea salt, chipotle seasoning and paprika
  3. On the same baking sheet, wrap 2 heads of garlic in foil. I cut off  the tops to expose some of the flesh.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender and caramelized. The garlic may need to stay in the oven for 10 additional minutes.
  5. Let this cool, and add the butternut squash, garlic and onion to a food processor. Add 1 cup of non-dairy milk, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast,  and puree, adding water or milk as necessary to get a smooth consistency. At this point, I taste the mixture to see if it needs more chipotle seasoning for spice or salt.
  6. In a pot, boil 1 package of pasta until al-dente. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to loosen the sauce later.
  7. Mix the sauce with the pasta and place in a baking dish and 1 can of canellini beans. The pasta should be slightly runny, but be able to hold shape enough. Add pasta water or milk if the sauce is too thick.
  8. Cover with a layer of breadcrumbs and some pepitas, and return to the oven.
  9. Set the oven to the broil setting and broil the pasta until the top browns slightly. Remove, garnish with parsley and serve!

Makes 8 servings

 

 

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Tangy Green Mango Chickpea Chaat

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It’s mango season in many parts of the world! Back home in Florida, my parents have a mango tree that’s fruiting really well! But with a heavy storm, a bunch of mangos fell to the ground without fully ripening. I couldn’t let good mangoes go to waste, so I made us a really refreshing snack using the green mangoes! If you are buying mangoes in the grocery store, choose one that hasn’t fully ripened yet. I mixed the tangy pieces in with some red onion, chickpeas and indian chaat masala. Chaat masala is a tangy spice blend that is made usually by mixing black salt (kala namak), cumin, red chili powder, and sometimes dried mango powder (aamchur). So if you don’t have chaat masala, you could simply use cumin powder and red chili powder. But the black salt and amchur really adds a special tang. Make this for guests or just for a healthy snack. I’m sure you’re going to love it!

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Roasted Green Bean and Tomato Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

This has to be the best end of summer salad. Period. I got both tomatoes and green beans in my farm box, and since it’s a bit too late to grill the green beans, I decided to roast them. Roasting them brings out this amazing sweetness that I didn’t know green beans could even have! It’s the perfect side dish as Fall rolls around. I tossed in some garlic, shallot and fresh tomatoes and a yummy champagne vinaigrette. Green beans are super healthy. They are high in fiber and a really easy source of many essential vitamins and minerals. I know you’re going to love this one!

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You will need:

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  • 1 lb of Green beans
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large vine ripened tomato
  • champagne
  • dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper

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To Prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Set trimmed green beans on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and some salt. Roast for about 20-25 minutes or until they are a bit shriveled
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup champagne vinegar, 1 clove of finely chopped garlic,  1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp dijon mustard and drizzle in olive oil, while whisking until it emulsifies.
  5. Stir in chopped tomatoes, diced shallots and green beans. Toss well.
  6. Allow to sit for around 10 minutes and serve!

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Super simple  and delicious!

 

Summer Squash Curry

DSC_0006I know it’s not summer yet, but I got these beautiful zuchinnis and yellow squashes in my farm basket last week. Zuchinni is not something you typically find in India  and is uncommon in Indian cooking. But Indian cooking does feature dishes with water-based vegetables and I thought I’d try it out. I decided to make a squash curry. It turned out great! Curry, for non-indian readers, doesn’t always mean a gravy-based spicy dish. It includes stir fried dishes with spices as well.  Zuchinni is a low-calorie, water-dense vegetable that is high in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin B6.  More importantly, my dinner guests loved the combination of yellow and green. It was a feast for the eyes! This recipe was super simple, takes only 10-15 minutes from start to finish.

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Buttered Radishes with Thyme

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s no longer Christmas here in India. But I’m not ready to lose the holiday spirit. Today’s recipe will be super quick and simple. Radishes and turnips, with the turnip greens in a light thyme butter sauce. Both turnips and radishes have lots of nutrients. I added turnips to mellow out the strong flavor of radish. I also added the turnip greens, which are slightly bitter. Turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, folate, copper, manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin Eand vitamin B6. They are a very good source of potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, iron and phosphorus.

All in all this recipe takes just 10 minutes to make. Makes an excellent healthy side dish or vegetarian holiday side.

DSC_0070.JPGYou will need:

  • 1 bunch turnips with greens
  • 1 bunch radish
  • 1 tbsp butter (or substitute such as olive oil)
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper

To prepare:

  1. Slice the turnips and radishes in half, rinse well.
  2. Roughly chop the turnip greens.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of butter (you can add a bit of oil so it doesn’t brown too fast) .
  4. Once warm, add the turnips and radishes and about 3 sprigs of thyme.
  5. Toss well.
  6. Add a few tbsps of water and cover for about 1 minute.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

 

 

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Cold Asian Salads 2 Ways! Soba Noodles with Edamame and Ginger-Honey-Soy Dressing and Cucumber Sesame Salad.

That title was a mouthful! Summer was taking its time to leave us this year…not I’m complaining! I love the warm weather! So I treated myself to a refreshing lunch of cold soba noodles with edamame in a spicy honey-ginger-soy dressing with a side of cucumber sesame salad. The cucumber salad was so pretty! I used a peeler to make delicate little strips. It’s great to make ahead and stays well! The noodles were also super easy to make and would make an excellent side dish or light lunch when entertaining. Trust me, your guests will love it!

The kind of soba noodles I used was King Soba noodles with organic sweet potato and buckwheat. Soba noodles are japanese noodles made from buckwheat, which is a high-nutrient carb that scores low on the glycemic index.  I chose this particular buckwheat noodle mainly for the color, I felt it would contrast nicely with the edamame, cilantro and scallions, but any type of soba noodle will work.

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Honey-Ginger-Soy Soba Noodle Salad

You will need:

  • Soba noodles: They come tied up, you can use 2 bunches
  • Edamame
  • Carrot sticks (Or coarsely grated carrot)
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Dressing: Honey, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sriracha
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

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Directions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil
  2. Once it comes to a boil, dump the noodles in and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Check to see, to make sure it doesn’t get too starchy. It should not be al dente.
  4. Drain the noodles and submerge them in a bowl of cold water. With your hands, gently rub the noodles to remove the starch. This will help prevent it from clumping.
    • This is a really good blog post that shows how to prepare soba noodles step-by-step.
  5. In a blender, add about a 3/4 inch nub of ginger, skin removed, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, a squirt of sriracha . Blend until smooth.
  6. Taste, and add water depending on  how strong the flavor is. Add ginger for more spiciness, add honey for more sweetness.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine soba noodles with 1/2 cup edamame, a handful of carrot sticks,  and the sauce. Mix well.
  8. Serve and garnish with  4 scallions, chopped, cilantro and sesame seeds.

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Cold Cucumber Salad

dsc_0005This recipe is super simple!

  1. Cut 1 English cucumber in half length-wise.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler peel the skin, and remove the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Continue peeling the cucumber so it falls in delicate, strips.
  4. Do the same with 1 carrot
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tbsp rice vinegar  and 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1-2 tsp sugar. Add a few chilli flakes for flavor and salt to taste. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Pour the mixture over the salad. This can be served immediately, or later. The flavor seeps in  more the longer you wait. It’s so delicious I can’t wait for you to try!

This recipe yields 2 servings. double for a larger quantity.

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