Butternut Squash Dip

In honor of the big game this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to make a healthy (yet still tasty!) dip to sample.

I’ll admit, we’re a baseball household (even when the Mariners are having a dismal season; we’ll miss you this year Dave!). I haven’t watched the Super Bowl since I was a teenager, and one of the main reasons I did was because my dad would let my brother and I get any snacks that we wanted for game time – can anyone say sugar overload?

This butternut squash dip is kind of in that vein – the flavor assemblage of squash and goat chevre makes for a sweet combination, with a subtle hint of roasted garlic. I know, sounds kinda weird, but it is delish!

I found the recipe on All Recipes website – it had gotten pretty good reviews and I thought it sounded intriguing. After asking a couple co-workers if they thought it sounded good, I went for it. It was extremely easy to make – you just roast the squash (cut in half and rubbed with olive oil) and the garlic and mash all the rest of the ingredients together with a spoon after it has cooled enough to handle. You can serve the dip warm or chilled (I elected for chilled when I sampled it for customers).

I used a couple small heads of the local red winter garlic since it was available. We only have the 8oz logs of goat chevre at the Co-op, so you can either cut back on the squash (I used a 2.25# squash with 11oz of goat cheese) and get the 8oz log, or I recommend trying a couple of the 5oz packages – either the plain or the pepper flavored ones. I served it with (gluten-free) Food Should Taste Good multi-grain chips and sweet potato chips – I had never tried their sweet potato chips before and found a new favorite!

Butternut Squash Dip

Makes about 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded (about 2 1/4#)
  • olive oil for brushing on squash
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 11 oz of goat cheese (chevre)
  • ~1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c walnuts, finely chopped
  • Pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
  2. Brush the cut side of the squash halves with some of the olive oil, and place them oiled side down on a baking sheet/dish.
  3. Cut the top off of the head of garlic.
  4. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil, and place on the baking sheet/dish with the squash.
  5. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork.
  6. Scoop the squash out of its skin when it is cool enough to handle, and place in a serving bowl.
  7. Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skins, and into the bowl with the squash.
  8. Mash until smooth.
  9. Stir in the goat cheese, lemon juice, and sea salt until well blended.
  10. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For a more mild flavor, you can substitute cream cheese for 1/2 of the goat cheese.

Butternut Squash Dip PDF

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Vegan Pumpkin Mousse (for pies or on its own!)

We’ve got some beautiful fall squash in stock at the Co-op – the leaves are changing, we’re about to have our first big storm of the season, and that means it’s pumpkin time!

Making pumpkin purée from scratch isn’t really that much harder than opening a can, you just need a little time for it to cook.  The easiest way to make purée is to wash your pumpkin, chop it in half and remove the seeds and stringy pulp, sprinkle a little salt on the inside, put them on a baking sheet cut side down and cover with foil, and pop it in the oven for about an hour and a half.  All told it takes all of ten minutes (or less) to prepare a pumpkin for purée – once it comes out of the oven it is so soft the skin falls right off and you can mash it with a spoon.  If you get an in-season sugar pie pumpkin, you probably won’t even need to put it though a sieve!

That is exactly what I did for my recipe demo this week.  I was looking for a really easy from-scratch pumpkin recipe that could be eaten on its own or made as a pie filling.  This recipe came from Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis, MN.  The original recipe would be enough for two pies or a crowd of people, and you can double the recipe to create this kind of quantity.

I used Mori Nu Firm Silken Tofu (which is shelf-stable, so don’t look for it with the refrigerated tofu!) – if you were making this recipe to fill a pie shell, then you would want to use Extra Firm silken tofu.  Customers really loved the mousse, and many commented on how it was their first true taste of Fall!

Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse (served with a pie dough "cookie") Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse

INGREDIENTS

2 packages firm* silken tofu

¼ c molasses

½ c maple syrup

2 c cooked pumpkin **

¼ c apple cider

1 ½t vanilla extract

1 ½t cinnamon

¾ t nutmeg

Sea salt

*Use Extra Firm silken tofu if you are making as a pie filling.

** A 4 pound sugar pie pumpkin will yield about 1 ½ c of pumpkin purée.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Prepare your pumpkin(s) – wash outside of pumpkin and cut in half and discard the stem and the stringy pulp (save the seeds to dry and roast later!).

2. In a shallow baking dish, place pumpkin halves face down and cover with foil (you can choose to sprinkle a little sea salt on the inside if you wish).

3. Bake in a 375°  oven for about 1 ½  hours or until it is tender.  Let pumpkin cool, then remove the flesh and either purée or mash it.

4. Process tofu and pumpkin in a food processor until smooth.

5. Combine all other ingredients and add to the food processor.  Process until creamy.

6. Fill individual dessert cups or pour into a pre-baked pie crust and chill until firm.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Clean all the pulp and strings off your seeds (it is easiest right after you have removed them from the pumpkin).

3. Put some melted butter or oil in a bowl, along with any seasonings you would like to add, and add pumpkin seeds—toss to coat.

4. Place seeds (in a single layer) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Keep an eye on them, depending on the accuracy of your oven, they may cook more quickly, or they may take longer to cook.

6. Enjoy hot out of the oven, or cooled!

Vegan Pumpkin Mousse PDF

Summer Squash and Carrot Salad

I have been sampling a lot of sweet things this month, so I wanted to sample something today that would be a little lighter (and a little more healthy!).  It was an easy decision to sample a salad, since we have so much beautiful local produce in stock right now!

I found a tasty sounding recipe in the August edition of Redbook Magazine that fit the bill, and I was off.  I used local, organic zucchini (both green and yellow) from Broad Leaf Farm, organic carrots from Hopewell Farm (always a popular item at the Co-op), and beautiful gigantic bunches of organic basil from The Growing Garden (owned and operated by one of our very own Board members).  I got out the vegetable peeler and went to work!

The salad is tossed with an anise seed balsamic vinaigrette, and with the basil, the anise added a subtle, refreshing spice to the salad. This was extremely easy to make, and looks like you spent hours creating a gourmet dish worthy of any restaurant.  Customers loved how refreshing and light it was, and it would go great with about anything you would throw on the grill!

Summer Squash and Carrot Salad (all local!) Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Summer Squash and Carrot Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 small zucchini

2 small yellow summer squash

2 large carrots

24 basil leaves, slivered

3 T balsamic vinegar

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 t anise seeds

1/2 t sea salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Trim ends of zucchini and squash.  Using vegetable peeler, shave each squash into long, wide, very thin strips.  When you reach the center of the squash (where the seeds are), give the squash a quarter turn and continue slicing.  Repeat on all four sides until you only have the center column left.

2. Shave the carrots in the same fashion.

3. Toss zucchini, squash, and carrot ribbons with the basil in a large serving bowl.

4. In a smaller bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, anise seeds, salt, and pepper.

5. Drizzle over vegetable ribbons and toss.

6. Serve immediately.

This salad is not only pretty, but a snap to make utilizing local vegetables!

Serve it with almost anything that you BBQ for a refreshing side.

Summer Squash and Carrot Salad PDF

December MOM – Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

Friday, December 4th I demoed the December MOM (Meal of the Month) – Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna at the Cordata Co-op, a recipe contributed by Matt McBeath, Co-op Board Member.

It was really easy to make, and only cost me $8 for the batch!  There are many ways that you could exand upon the recipe – if you are GF you can use Rice Lasange noodles and rice flour, and a customer suggested adding polenta to the dish, which I think would be a really tasty addition. If you have never prepared a butternut squash before, you can check out http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food/cooking/prepare-cook-butternut-squash for a video and slide show instructions (it’s really easy if you know the best way to do it!).

Find the recipe at http://www.communityfood.coop/pdf/MOM%20recipe%20Dec.%2009.pdf