Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vegetarian Squash Casserole

In anticipation of our honeymoon extravaganza to the Big Easy, CCO and I decided to go vegetarian for a month. Although we've been eating vegetarian once a week for Meatless Monday, doing it all day everyday was a challenge at first. (There are only so many days in a row you can eat eggs before it gets boring...)

So CCO suggested we pick up a copy of The Moosewood Cookbook. When he had been a vegetarian during his college days at Harvard, it was his stand-by. Once I finally found a copy, I could see why. There are tons of suggestions for how to move to vegetarian without eating a salad every night (though there is a great chapter on salad). One section that caught my eye was the one on baked dishes, in particular this squash casserole. It's super easy and most things you'd probably have in your house anyway.

If you want to make this, I'd suggest it as a side dish along with something else. If you want it to be the main feature, serve it with crusty bread or pita, something else that has some texture and substance. My one criticism was that everything was so smooth, it was a little like eating baby food (very delicious baby food, but baby food nonetheless).

Eat Rating: Delicious. The squash complements nicely with the tanginess of the yogurt and feta.
Difficulty: Easy.

Adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen

4 cups cooked squash or pumpkin, mashed or pureed (LN: I used acorn. You could also do this with butternut)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 small bell peppers, any kind, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup yogurt (LN: She recommends using firm Greek yogurt. It worked find with plain Yoplait)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in skillet and saute onions and bell peppers until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook until vegetables completely softened.

Place the mashed squash in a large bowl. Add the onions and peppers, yogurt and feta and mix until well-combined. Spread the casserole into a 9-inch square baking dish (or comparable) and sprinkle the walnuts over the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the casserole is thoroughly heated and bubbling. Serve immediately with some crusty bread or warmed pita.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's a Recession: Homemade Tortilla Chips

I don't know about you, but I seem perenially incapable of finishing an entire bag of corn tortillas. I like to get them to make enchiladas (they taste much better with the corn tortillas than with flour, in my opinion), but a batch for two people only makes a small dent in the bag. The solution? Make tortilla chips.

Eat Rating: Awesome. A nice bit of crunch
Difficulty: Super easy. An 8-year-old could do this (provided she doesn't burn herself putting it in the oven. That was always my problem as a kid...)

5 corn tortillas
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper .

Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut each tortillas into six triangles. Place the triangles in a small bowl and drizzle the vegetable oil over them, tossing so each piece is well coated. Lay out the chips on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25 minutes or until the chips have begun to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Variation: Cinnamon Chips
Omit salt. Mix 3 tbsp sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the chips and follow remaining steps.