Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Citrus Ginger Winter Squash with Green Curry Sauce

This post is for Grace over at Going Green. I've come away from this past year and a half of blogging with a lot of things. But the best thing by far has been the friendship with other blogging friends. A while back Grace asked me for a recipe for green curry, but then I got pregnant......and then I moved....twice....then I had a baby. It's been kind of a crazy year, and Grace has been more than patient. This recipe went over very well with my husband and I hope it was worth the wait.

For this recipe I marinated (read lots o' prep time) acorn squash in a zesty marinade of citrus, soy, and ginger and pan fried it (mostly because it's too hot to roast). Then I used the leftover marinade to make a creamy sauce. I bet pumpkin could be used to replace the acorn squash, and you could always toss in a protein such as tofu or tempeh but you might need to double the marinade. I served this over rice.

What you need:

1 acorn squash
3tbs soy sauce
3tbs oil divided
1tbs orange juice
1tbs plus 1tsp lemon juice divided
2tbs plus 1tsp brown sugar
3tsp minced ginger divided
1/4tsp-1/2tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves of crushed garlic
3 heaping tsp green curry paste (more to taste)
1 can coconut milk
3tbs chopped cilantro
3tbs chopped basil
salt to taste

Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and goopy stuff. Then carefully slice the squash.

In a large ziplock bag combine 2tbs oil, 3tbs soy sauce, 2tsp minced ginger, 1tbs orange juice, 1tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Squish the bag around a little to mix the marinade. Add the acorn squash, seal tightly and refrigerate for 2 or more hours.

After two hours take the squash out of the fridge. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. After getting the pan nice and hot lower the heat to a little below medium and add the squash plus four tablespoons of the marinade and 1tsp of ginger. DO NOT THROW OUT THE REMAINING MARINADE. You will be using that in the sauce. :) The squash is going to spit and sputter and possibly steam, and that's ok. You want all the sugars to start caramelizing, just don't burn it to a crisp. I cooked my squash for about 25 minutes. Ten minutes, then I flipped the squash, then ten minutes on the other side, then a final five minutes covered.

Turn off the burner and remove the squash and set it aside in a covered dish taking care to leave any liquid in the pan (we're about to get all fancy up in here).

Now we are going to deglaze the pan......mmhhmmm you heard what I said...someones been watching food network, and that someone is me. Add the rest of the marinade to the pan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes or until all the wonderful caramelized bits of goodness come off of the bottom of the pan.

Now add the curry paste, 1tsp sugar, 2 cloves of garlic and cook stirring frequently for two minutes.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes and stir in the basil and cilantro.

Remove from heat and add the last 1tsp of lemon juice and salt to taste (I added about 1/4tsp).

You have two options here, you can peel the acorn squash and plate it up that way spooning the sauce over the squash. Or you can do the pretty (ehem jerky) thing that I did and plate it all up with the peel on. Very aesthetically pleasing, but it forces those you are cooking for to peel the squash on their own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet n' Spicy Chili with Blackened Onions

My husband says this is the best chili ever. Not the best vegan chili, or the best soy free chili,
but the...


My two year old says, "Mama can I has some more chiwi please." (He's unbearably cute and loves his chili). My daughter says, "can I just have beans and rice"......she's not a chili fan. I don't know about best chili ever, but this is a darn good recipe and you can certainly add (or subtract) things to adjust to your personal tastes. It's also easy to make, vegan, and soy free (check your ingredients carefully), and I've fed it to carnivores with good results. I topped mine with avocado, crushed tortilla chips, and cilantro, and I really wish I'd snapped a picture beforehand because it is a lovely chili. I guess you'll just have to make it to find out for yourself. :)

What you'll need

1tbs oil
2 onions sliced
3 cups cooked (seasoned to your liking) black beans
1 28oz can of baked beans
1/2 cup soy free BBQ sauce
2tbs plus 1tsp chili powder (divided)
1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste (optional)
cayenne, jalapenos, or other spices to taste

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions 1/4tsp of salt and 1tsp of the chili powder. Cook for 10-20 minutes stirring occasionally until desired doneness. I like them almost burnt, but you could lower the heat and go for a more caramelized (browning) effect. Now add the onions to a large pot and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Heat through. It's that simple. Add whatever toppings you like.

What are your favorite chili toppings?
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