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I’m Back—with Holiday Dishes!

After a long and much-needed hiatus to remodel the kitchen in our home of nearly 25 years, I’m joyfully back to creating new dishes for our table—and yours. Today’s offering is Winter Squash with Greens that I hope was worth the wait. (Next up: Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Bars!)

This Winter Squash with Greens is a lovely vegan entrée when served in a soup bowl over millet or it can grace your holiday table as a side vegetable. My recipe calls for butternut squash, which I think is the easiest to carve into chunks, but you might choose another favorite winter squash. I selected lacinato kale for its deep green contrast with the golden butternut. Then I decided to go a little gourmet by adding some shiitake mushrooms.

Think you hate mushrooms? They’re optional!

I know that many people don’t like mushrooms, so don’t worry, as the dish will not suffer without them. However, mushrooms do add another layer of earthy flavor.

My husband will tell you he doesn’t like mushrooms, but his aversion is to their texture rather than their taste. When I pulse them a few times in a food processor, the mushrooms seem to disappear into the dish, and he enjoys the final result completely.

Get creative!

I seasoned this dish with my standard base of cumin and coriander, which gives most every vegetarian or vegan dish a subtle (but needed) flavor boost. I then added rosemary and thyme to bring this vegetables back into American cuisine’s autumn/winter/holiday repertoire. But don’t stop there!

This delicacy is open to much experimentation, so I can easily see other creative options to make it your own. If you love heat, you could add curry powder,  cayenne, or red pepper flakes. Or you could pivot to France and simmer the mushrooms in wine or sherry at the beginning of the recipe, after sauteing the leeks.

I served this dish over millet, a gluten-free grain that’s high in protein, making it a light yet filling meal. And you can certainly bring this Winter Squash and Greens with you as a perfect side dish for any table—vegetarian or not—this holiday season!

PS Looking for other traditional Thanksgiving sides that are unbelievably delicious? Find recipes here for an awesome Reimagined Green Bean Casserole and my famous Holiday Sweet Potatoes with Glazed Pecans.

 

 

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WINTER SQUASH AND GREENS

Preparation Time: About 45 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

I enjoyed this dish as an entrée, serving it over millet—though, alternatively, you could serve it over rice, polenta, or quinoa. But the squash and greens makes a perfect side dish as well.

FOR THE SOUP

1 large butternut squash (4 to 6 cups)
1 large leek (½ to ¾ cup sliced)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
5 to 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (optional)
2 to 4 cups of Easy Vegetable Soup Stock 
or water with a pinch of ground turmeric
3 to 4 cups chopped lacinato kale
½ to 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1½ to 2 teaspoons mineral salt

FOR THE MILLET (OPTIONAL)

1 cup millet
3 cups water
½ teaspoon mineral salt

Cook’s Tip: 1. If you prefer, you can roast the squash in the oven on 375°F for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender. 2. If you’re serving the vegetables over a grain, you may want to have the additional 2 cups of warm soup stock ready to add to the serving dish.

1. Prepare the millet in a 1- or 2-quart saucepan with lid by bringing the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Check periodically until all the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Set aside.

2. Peel the squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into several rounds ½- or ¾-inch thick and then into bite-sized cubes. Wash and thinly slice the leek, using both the white and light-green portion. If using mushrooms, pulse them a few times in a food processor or mince them with a knife. (If you enjoy the texture of mushrooms, you may prefer to simply slice them.)

3. Heat a large sauté pan (with a lid) or 4- to 6-quart soup pot on medium heat and melt the fat. Add the cumin and coriander and stir for a few seconds until it’s fragrant. Add the leeks and sauté them for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start turning uniformly golden. If using mushrooms, add them to the pan now and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the squash with 2 cups of soup stock. Cover the pan and, when it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer until the squash is almost tender (about 10 minutes).

4. While the squash is cooking, chop the kale, peel and grate the ginger, and prepare the herbs. Once the squash is almost tender, add the kale to the pan and cook together for 10 minutes or until the squash is soft. Then add the ginger and the herbs and stir. Add salt to taste. If you’re serving the dish as an entrée, put a half cup of millet or other grain into each soup bowl. Cover the grain with a cup or two of vegetables and some additional stock.

Ayurvedic Note: Mushrooms can be a little difficult to digest, which is why the recipe calls for fresh ginger, a digestive aid.

 

 

 Increase the ginger or add some black pepper to your dish.

Only use 1 tablespoon oil. Ghee preferable unless vegan.

2 Responses

  1. Wendy B Clarke says:

    Healthy, delicious recipes that are easily adaptable to ones diet choices!

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