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healthy ANDI licious

Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie October 9, 2011

Butternut just keeps getting better & better.

Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie
With Ginger Snap & Crisp Wheat Crust

So I’ve  found a yet another use for the wonderful butternut squash I’ve been getting from the farmer’s market this season: PIE. I adore the smell and taste of spiced pumpkin pie and have made it for Thanksgiving every year but I haven’t ever tried it with other squash. I was determined to make my own butternut squash pie from scratch for the first time last week so that I could bring some with me to NYC as a gift. As an added culinary challenge,  this pie needed to be dairy-free. Most recipes use sweetened condensed milk so I wondered whether the flavor would suffer at all from this omission.  I found that some recipes suggested replacing the milk with vanilla soy milk or coconut milk. Coconut milk tends to be the creamiest of  milk alternatives so I opted for this replacement. Banking on the natural sweetness of the cooked squash, I cut the sugar added to only about 1/3 of what the recipes suggested. Using a combo of Light Coconut Milk (less fat than the original) along with a splash of almond milk, vamping up the cinnamon and throwing in a tbsp of flaxseed powder -I just couldn’t help “healthifying” the recipe. Having used much less added sugar & fat than recipes suggest, I was a bit nervous when I took the first bite.  I MISSED NOTHING. The First Bite

Aromatic cinnamon & nutmeg mixed perfectly with the sweet squash complemented deliciously by the snappy ginger crust. This pie was a true slice of heaven. Try it for yourself!

Ingredients
Makes TWO pies. This pie is so good, you’re going to want the extra one.

2 whole butternut squashes (I used pretty large ones, they were about 3lbs each)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh or frozen ginger (Optional. Note: Powdered ginger will not taste the same. If us use it, don’t use more than 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
5 cage-free eggs
1/2 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (You can use all almond or all coconut if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional. I didn’t have any and my pies did not miss it. If it’s not the real stuff, don’t bother)

Ginger Snap Crust Blended with Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Flour

The Crust
Makes 2 crusts

– 1 bag 365 brand (Whole Foods)  Ginger Snaps (or any without dairy- some brands are made with butter)
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-Dash of nutmeg
-3 tbsp olive or canola oil
-4 tbsp whole wheat flour

Methods

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Wash squash and slice into halves and quarters and place on baking pan with a splash of water. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 1 hour until tender. While, the squash is baking, prepare the crust. Put the dry ingredients for the crust together in a food processor (or blender) and blend until the become a pretty uniform powder. Add the oil and blend. Smoothly pat the crust in place in your pie pans.

When squash has cooked, put the crust in the oven (same temp) to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pans after 10 minutes and pop them in the freezer to cool.

Meanwhile, time to make the filling. Using a spoon or fork scrape out all of the flesh of the squash into your food processor or blender. Save the seeds in a container to roast them later for a great snack. You will probably need to blend in batches if you are making a large batch. It doesn’t matter how much of the other ingredients you put into each batch because you will mix them all together in a large bowl once blended. Just make sure that all of the ingredients get blended into the mix.

Take your fully-cooled pie crusts out of the freezer and pour in the filling. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Place pies in the oven and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes. Remove baked pies and allow to cool (preferably by a cool open window) for 2-3 hours. Serve and enjoy!

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Local Farm Feast in the Heart of the City October 2, 2011

A colorful plate!

After some absolutely wonderful restaurant adventures this weekend (Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, Moroccan Brunch, Sushi for two…), today Ben & I decided to cook our own little feast. I have been studying the role of Farmer’s Markets in urban environments in several of my classes lately so it was extremely fitting to bring this education to life with a trip to a couple for some local fare. In Massachusetts, farmer’s markets follow strict local policies- the food is either from the state or from a bordering state. I am not sure if an identical rule applies to those in New York but I would imagine that this is the case since NYC  has been extremely progressive in its Farmer’s Market efforts–being one of the first cities to make the markets easily accessible to both SNAP and WIC shoppers.

Ben is extremely fortunate to have a weekly farmer’s market that comes almost literally right to his doorstep. So this beautiful crisp October morning we walked out to the row of fresh produce, bread, meat and fish farm stands and happily gathered up a few things for lunch.

Today’s Picks
Butternut Squash
Shallots
Purple Potatoes
Honeycrisp Apples
New York Farm fresh turkey

Union Square Farmer's Market in NYC

We sauteed the butternut squash with some fresh sage, sauteed the purple potatoes with shallots, used a natural Santa Fe marinade and pan seared the fresh ground turkey into mini burgers, and served up our feast with an appetizer of freshly baked organic kale chips and broiled cinnamon oranges for dessert. Tonight, back in Boston, I am already itching to look up when the next farmer’s market will be near me! Luckily in Boston, a good farmer’s market is easy to find. Can’t wait to return to the NYC market next weekend and take the sweet approach with another butternut squash (I’m thinking baked with cinnamon sugar…) Find a farmer’s market in your city at localharvest.org.

 

Breakfast Smoothie February 20, 2011

Can you guess what the secret ingredient is?

Lots to do today? Power up with a vibrant, nutrient-packed smoothie.

Bananas, strawberries, almond milk, blueberries and…. squash? It may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of smoothie making but butternut squash (delicious in so many recipes) is actually a great smoothie ingredient. It’s lower in sugar and higher in potassium than many fruits and just half a cup provides more than 100% of the DV for vitamin A.  I like to pair it with strawberries and add cinnamon. You can use it frozen, raw, or cooked.

Breakfast Smoothie

-Fresh banana
-Frozen strawberries
-Frozen blueberries
-Unsweetened almond milk
– Dash of cinnamon

SECRET INGREDIENT: BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Want more smoothie ideas? Check out a few of my favorites.
Plantain Coconut Berry Smoothie
Mango-Avocado Smoothie
Pineapple Banana Mango Smoothie



 

Butternut Bisque Update October 27, 2010

The Butternut Squash Bisque recipe has now been updated to list the ingredients in easier-to-measure amounts for cooking at home. Thanks Julie for your help!

 

Butternut Squash Bisque

 

Butternut Squash Bisque October 14, 2010

Tufts Dining Services gave out Butternut Squash Bisque samples today at Tufts Farmer's Market

Butternut Squash Bisque

The OFFICIAL Tufts Dining Services Recipe

– 5 tbsp. butter (or olive oil)
– 1 cup onions peeled and minced
– 1 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
– 1 and 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
– 1/2 cup peeled minced carrots
– 2 cups cubed butternut squash, cooked
– 1 dash ground cayenne pepper
– 1 dash ground pepper
– 1/2 cup pasteurized heavy cream 40%  (OR 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth)

For a low-fat, dairy-free version of the recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and broth instead of the heavy cream.

To Prepare:

1. Saute onions, carrots and ginger in butter (or olive oil) until onions just begin to turn golden. Steam butternut squash until “well cooked”, reserve.

2. Add water and veggie light to base to make stock, then add remaining ingredients “except heavy cream”. Heat to boiling, then reduce to a simmer covered until vegetables are tender.

3. When veggies are tender, add add heavy cream (or broth) and heat just to a simmer, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and add cream.

This recipe was added to Tufts Dining menu in 2002 by John F. Adjustments were made as per Paul Rudolph in 2003. Thank you to Tufts Dining for sharing this recipe with us! Also thank you to John F. and Paul Rudolph for making this recipe the one that we know and love so well today!

For a low-fat, dairy-free version of the recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and chicken broth instead of the heavy cream.

 

On the Farmer’s Market Menu Tomorrow October 12, 2010

Tufts Farmer’s Market will be on the UPPER Patio of the Campus Center tomorrow (a location change just for this week). Stop by around lunch time to enjoy free Butternut Squash Bisque samples compliments of Tufts Dining Services. There will also be live guitar music, wonderful fresh local produce and tasty baked goods.

 

410s try the Squash October 2, 2010

I bought a butternut squash yesterday so that we (the 410s of A Tower) could attempt to recreate the delicious recipe that Ken taught us at the Dining Services Cooking Demo and Sampling at Tufts Farmer’s Market this past Wednesday. The outcome: success.

1/2 of the squash was perfect to feed the 4 of us (Rosie, Erin, Andrea and I) for a satisfying we-can’t-wait-another-2-hours-before-dinner snack. I saved the other half for later and am definitely looking forward to making it again! We also scooped out the seeds, rinsed them, added olive oil, sage, dill, salt & pepper and roasted them.

 

Sauteeing the Squash (following the recipe a few posts below this one)

 

 

Our tasty finished product