Sunday, April 10, 2011

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

I was at my favorite grocery store last weekend and wandered down the aisle that stocks pasta. I was looking for a particular shape of pasta (over sized ribbed elbow macaroni that I CANNOT find anywhere) and an jar of beautiful orange sauce caught my eye.

Just like the store packaging, too!

Butternut squash pasta sauce? Oh wow, that sounded good. So I picked up the (very expensive) jar to read the ingredients just to have my hopes dashed. "Butter"- on the list. Why? Anyway, that got me thinking, I can make this and I can probably make it better than some mass produced jar sauce, too.

So, I turned around and headed back to the produce aisle to pick up some pre-cut butternut squash chunks. As I headed back that way the wheels started turning... I could add a little non dairy milk, too and make it a creamy butternut squash sauce. And so, this recipe, like most of my recipes was born- right there in the grocery store aisles.

This turned out to be a perfect Sunday night dinner. Simple and relaxed.

Oh, and if you happen to know where to find over sized ribbed elbow macaroni could you please let me know?

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

20 oz pre cut butternut squash
1 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
1/4 cup water
1 rib celery rough chopped
1 shallot rough chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 + 1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped plus some for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot boil the butternut squash until fork tender. Drain and set aside. In the same pot you cooked the squash in melt the Earth Balance over medium heat. Add the celery and shallot. Give a stir and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup of water and let the vegetables cook until very soft. Add the squash chunks, tomato paste and thyme. Stir to incorporate. The squash should be cooked enough that it starts to fall apart.

While still on the heat add the vegetable stock and 1/2 cup of non dairy milk. Continue to stir until the mixture is heated through.

Pour the mixture into a food processor or powerful blender and blend until smooth. Add the additional 1/4 cup of non dairy milk and blend an additional few seconds until fully incorporated.

Serve over pasta or gnocchi. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Artichoke and Mushroom Casserole

I have never done a give away on the blog before so I am really excited to be able to be able to give away to one lucky reader an awesome Natural Products Expo gift package that includes $25 worth of So Delicious treats, a month worth of vegan Popchips (a $30 value) as well as some other fun goodies! How cool is that? Two of my favorite products! To enter leave a comment on this post (please be sure to provide a way for me to contact you).  For an additional entry you can tweet:

  @VeganVersion Enter me to win a Natural Product Expo Package

Read on for a special artichoke and mushroom casserole recipe that incorporates both So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage and Pop Chips!

And, be sure to check out the video highlights of the Natural Products Expo from March 14th, 2011. Both So Delicious and Pop Chips got some really positive attention!

Artichoke and Mushroom Casserole

2  packages (9 oz each)  frozen artichoke hearts cooked according to package directions
1/2 plus 1/4 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
12 oz sliced mushrooms (I used shitake and cremini)
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella shreds
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 package (8 oz) So Delicious Original Potato Popchips, crushed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saute pan heat the Earth Balance over medium heat.  Slowly add the flour stirring constantly until smooth.  Remove from the heat. Add 1/2 cup each of the So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk and the vegetable stock.  Return to the heat. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Heat until the mixture comes to a soft boil and the consistency resembles a condensed canned "cream of" soup. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl place the artichoke hearts, Daiya Mozzarella shreds, nutritional yeast, white wine, cayenne and the rest of the coconut milk.  Add the mushroom mixture and stir. 

Place in  a greased casserole dish, top with the crushed Popchips and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Chick'n Marsala over Linguine

It is April Fool's  Day!  Somehow, I escaped any sort of goofy office pranks or pranks played  by my kids today. But, in the spirit of April Fool's Day I wanted to see what "meat" dish I could concoct in the kitchen.

I have been traveling for the better part of the last couple of weeks. This has left me very tired. However, I wanted to do something for April Fool's Day and also for an "I am really tired quick Friday night dinner". So, I decided to see if I could fool Mr. Meat and Potatoes with a vegan version of Chicken Marsala, a dish he loves.

The results are in!  While he was not completely fooled (as I ate the meal I cooked for us too) he did say he liked it.  The empty plate at the end of dinner leads me to declare this meal a success.  Oh, and it is a great "I am really tired quick Friday night dinner", too.

April Fool's Chick'n  Marsala over Linguine

2 Gardein  Chick'n Scallopini thawed
3 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1 cup linguine, cooked according to package directions
Parsley for garnish

In a saute pan heat the olive oil and the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread over medium heat. While that is heating combine the flour, salt, pepper and oregano with the flour.  Dip the Gardein Scallopini in the non dairy milk and then dredge in the flour.  Place the Gardein in the oil and "butter"mixture. When browned on the first side flip and then add the mushrooms and Marsala wine.  Cover and simmer for ten minutes until the sauce thickens and the Gardein is cooked through.

To serve place pasta on a plate, top with the Gardein and the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley.