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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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Curry Laksa Veg Feast! (V+GF)

Curry Laksa! This truly is a feast! For the tummy and eyes. 🙂 I studied abroad in Malaysia and loved all the blending of flavors in Malaysian food. Curry Laksa is a Malaysian noodle soup, usually served with rice noodles. I added some soba noodles  (buckwheat flour noodles) instead to make it a healthier version and topped it off with some baked tofu. I love all the colors and textures of different vegetables simmered in a gingery spiced coconut broth. I just threw in a bunch of vegetables that I had on hand, like spinach, broccoli, green onion, red pepper and mushroom. To prepare my tofu, I usually coat with some type of flour (usually gram flour) and bake in the oven at 350 until golden. Usually 30 minutes turned  over half way.

I served this to my family with a non-vegan option of boiled egg on the side. It was light, yet filling and healthy! I hope you love it!

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Rajas con “Crema” (V+GF)

If there’s one type of cuisine I could have every day it’s Mexican! Kind of like Indian Food, the flavor profile is so complex, so rich and satisfying. This is a recipe a good friend recommended to me. It’s a take on “Rajas con Crema” a mexican dish with poblano peppers and lots of cream. Instead of cream, I used cashews, rich in protein and only a portion of the fat of regular cream. I also added some seasonal squash and corn to the dish.  I served it up with some corn tortillas, black beans and homemade pico de gallo. Delish! It truly takes very little time once all the veggies are chopped. I know you’ll love it!

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Note: The spiciness of this dish really depends on the chillies you get. Some peppers are hotter than others. Try to  seed and de-vein the peppers if you prefer less spice and add more cream if it is still too hot for our liking.  

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Tofu Bhurji (Masala Scramble) (V)

I need to preface by saying, I love this recipe! It is so quick, easy and filling and the leftovers lasted me for quite a while. It’s a take on the traditional Indian Paneer or Egg bhurji, which usually involves crumbled paneer cheese or egg and some veggies in a tomatoey spicy gravy. The difference between this and a traditional scrambled egg is that I added a bit more tomatoes so the tofu was really soaking in a spiced almost-gravy.  It was so delicious!

Health Stuff: Now that the Whole Foods Plant Based diet has become so popularized people are always looking for a vegetarian protein source. This is one that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Specifically, it alters the texture of tofu which is the biggest complaint I’ve heard from people who eat meat. Turmeric is totally en-vogue right now too! It’s been used in my family for generations and is so good for you! It’s an antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.

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You will need:

  • 1 block of tofu (I prefer not to use the extra or super firm because I like a softer consistency)
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 med onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • Grated Ginger
  • Pinch of garam masala powder
  • Cilantro for garnish

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Prep:

  • Using a fork, crumble the tofu. Let it drain in a muslin cloth if you like, but since this recipe is slightly wet, it doesn’t matter if you skip that step.
  • Finely chop all the veggies.
  • Grate the ginger (about 1 tbsp)

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To Prepare:

  1. In a skillet, heat 2-3 tsp of oil. Add cumin seeds.
  2. When cumin seeds sputter, add chopped onions and 1 tbsp grated ginger and green chillies to taste.
  3. When onions become transluscent add the tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to cook down on high heat until they start to break down and get soft. Add 1 tsp of turmeric.
  4. Add peppers of choice, (I used green and red) and the tofu
  5. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Salt liberally and simmer for 5 minutes until the tofu absorbs the flavors.
  7. Sprinkle some garam masala over the top
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with chapatis, bread or rice!

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Makes 4-6 servings!

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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Creamy Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Milk and Spinach (V +GF)

Those who know me know that dal is one of my favorite dishes. I can barely go a week without making it. It is filling, packed with protein and fiber, and quite honestly is any Indian’s comfort food. But sometimes it is nice to make a different take on the traditional dal. I  was inspired by some of the ingredients I had at home to make a nutritious one-pot version using a can of tomato sauce (tomato puree), coconut milk and a bunch of fresh spinach. This turned out so great! Warm, hearty, filling. The best part is that I froze half of the recipe and when I reheated it 2 weeks later it tasted just as good!I served it up with some brown rice and simple roasted cauliflower that I stuck in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes seasoned  with some salt, garlic powder and pepper. I hope you love it!

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