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VeganMofo: Winter Squash

As last year, I’ve been remiss in contributing to the Vegan Month of Food until the last moment, so I wanted to get one in before we flip the calendar to November(!).

In addition to the trees’ colorful, hibernation preparations and the crisp, cool air, I like this time of year for the hearty food, particularly all variety of winter squash and pumpkins.

Recently, the question came up in the Fat Free Vegan Yahoo! Group of what to do with an acorn squash.

I shared how I like to prepare it (really, any winter squash works well with this treatment), and it was a big hit. So, here you go. I leave the exact proportions to your taste buds. Remember, tasting is a sign of a good chef. ;)

Preheat the oven to 350-425°F, depending on how much time you have to wait. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds (save ‘em for later roasting), and place cut side down on a lightly oil-spritzed, tinfoil-lined, baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour in inverse proportion to the temperature you chose. You really have a lot of leeway here. Basically, you want it to be nice and soft and starting to caramelize on the edges.

Take out of oven and let cool until you can handle it more comfortably. Scoop out the goods and mix in my Three C’s:

  • cinnamon
  • chipotle powder
  • cumin

Garlic in any form is also a welcome guest in this dish. If you want it sweeter, drizzle in some pure maple syrup. Mmmm…

Finally, for some texture, stir in a little diced sweet onion and raw broccoli for texture. This old standby never gets old for me. It turns out ever so slightly different each time, as I don’t measure the spices.

By the way, a note for my fellow calorie restrictors. Pumpkin appears to have the fewest calories by weight. I just had a big bowl of freshly baked pumpkin made this way today, and the roasted seeds, similarly spiced, as a snack. Enjoy!

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