Tofu Macadamia Stuffed Squash

acorn

Last weekend, while visiting the Union Square Green Market, I purchased a few acorn squash in hopes to prepare a stuffed squash dish this week.  After browsing through the endless pages of my cookbooks, there was not one stuffed squash recipe that stood out to me…Story of my life, and we all know what happens next…Yep, you guessed it… Amie digging through the pantry and refrigerator for ingredients to toss into a yummy acorn squash.

I stumbled upon a container of dried cranberries, a bag of macadamia nuts (from my nut splurge last week at Whole Foods) and a fresh orange.  Hmmm, I thought…with a quick trip to the corner market I purchased some fresh mushrooms and before I knew it I was in my kitchen chopping away and creating a healthy squash masterpiece.  I didn’t have any rice in my pantry, however, I did have a nice firm block of tofu in my fridge, which I thought would be a perfect way to bulk up my stuffing and add a nice protein kick, as well.

After a few minutes of mixing and experimenting…I was ready to stuff my squash and pop it back into the oven for a hearty, warm dinner.  The end result: Perfecto.  A ’10’ in my book for sure…and if you happen to purchase a few acorn squash this fall, be sure to stuff ’em with my tasty Tofu n’ Cranberry Stuffing.

Acorn squash is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium along with smaller doses of vitamins C and B, manganese and magnesium.  It’s an easy squash to pick out at the market due to it’s cute ‘acorn’ shape and harvest green skin, which is speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh.  Acorn is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash because of its sweet and nutty flavor combination.  Do you enjoy acorn squash?  If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 block Nasoya Firm Tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 4 cups whole grain/ gluten-free bread cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (from a small orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange peel zest
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • On a baking pan, drizzled with olive oil, place squash halves cut side down.  Add 3/4’’ of water and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Marinate tofu in balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard, agave nectar and orange juice.
  • In a large pot, sauté onions and mushrooms in the olive oil; cook for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add spices and vegetable stock.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Slowly add tofu, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and bread cubes; sauté for another 4-6 minutes; remove from heat.
  • Add in macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, basil, cilantro, orange zest , sea salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Transfer the filling into the baked squash halves and return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
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Savory Parsnip Bulgur Pilaf

This savory bulgur is hearty enough for a side dish and pairs well with chicken, tofu or fish.  The summertime is a great excuse to add a touch of anti-oxidant rich garden herbs such as fresh mint and basil…Each bite is sure to lend a surprise to your taste buds.  You can easily enjoy this dish served chilled or warm.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Bulgar (cooked)
  • 1 cup Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Spinach (cooked)
  • 1 cup Shredded Yellow Squash
  • 1 cup Shredded Parsnips
  • Nu-Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Mint (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts (toasted*)
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

* Toast Pine Nuts in a dry skillet for 4 minutes until browned.

Directions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet until hot.  Add onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until golden brown (15 minutes).  Add garlic,bulgur, cumin and turmeric. Continue to stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add vegetable broth, parsnips, spinach, yellow squash and salt.  Bring to a boil and stir.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes; do not stir.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add fresh mint, basil and lemon juice.
  • Top with toasted pine nuts.
  • Enjoy!

Carrot Pumpkin Soup

This soup is a perfect side dish to cool you off on a warm summer day.  I love carrots and pumpkin, therefore the tasty combo of these two delicious fibrous veggies makes a delicious soup.

Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes and pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene and zinc.

pumpkin soup

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 1/2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 2 (14.5) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Directions

  • Saute onion and garlic in olive oil and water in a pan until softened.
  • Add carrots and vegetable stock; cook until carrots are soft.
  • Add pumpkin and wine.
  • Puree with a mixer.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, honey and lemon juice to the pureed soup.  Stir and reheat thoroughly.
  • Serve warm or chilled.
  • Enjoy!

White Bean, Spinach and Tomato Risotto

 This is such a fabulous recipe.  I often recommend it to my clients as as a dinner, and again for lunch left-overs the next day! If you’re simply just looking for a side dish–this recipe can easily be paired with a protein source such as Tofu, Tempeh, Fish, Chicken and Turkey for a well-rounded, healthy meal!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked risotto
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • Galaxy vegan parmesan cheese
  • Dash of oregano

Directions

  • Cook risotto (per directions on package). Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add garlic; stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and beans. Mix well. 
  • Add spinach, Nu-Salt, pepper, rosemary, balsamic vinegar.  Continue to stir until mixture is completely cooked and warm. 
  • Remove from heat and serve warm atop a bed of warm risotto.
  • Top with vegan Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with oregano.
  • Enjoy!