The end of the summer season makes me kind of sad. I will miss fresh berries, corn on the cob and watermelon as well as a host of other seasonal delights. Then I take my first bite of a crisp, juicy apple and roast a butternut squash and all is well again! A friend gave me an organic butternut squash from his garden and I wanted to make something special with it. After browsing through several plant based cookbooks I settled on a recipe from the Isa Does It cookbook for Roasted Butternut Squash Alfredo Sauce. It’s so creamy and rich you would think it was made with dairy but of course it isn’t. The Blendtec blender makes easy work of turning it into a smooth and creamy sauce but Isa says it also works with a food processor or regular blender. This savory sauce includes onions, garlic, white wine and sage. It’s slightly sweet yet savory and so creamy I could almost drink it!
Here is how I go about cutting a butternut squash. Wash the squash then cut a few slits in the skin with a sharp knife, place it on a bed of paper towels in the microwave oven and cook on high for about 5 minutes. That will soften it up just enough to make it easy to cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and place face side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes depending on the size of squash. Roasting allows it to caramelize and the natural sugars come out making it so sweet. Let it cool a little before you try to scoop out the flesh. At this point you can enjoy eating it as is or add a little cinnamon and maple syrup if you wish! It’s also ready to be used in a variety of recipes such as this Roasted Butternut Squash Alfredo Sauce and luckily the recipe is on Isa’s blog over at Post Punk Kitchen. Check out her blog for ton’s of interesting plant based recipes. The Isa Does It cookbook gets used often around here. The recipes are easy to execute and so creative. She gives you lots of hints and tips on how to cook plant based recipes as well as time saving tips.
I wasn’t sure that son David would be receptive to this Alfredo so I decided to also make a vegan Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce. I found this awesome recipe on Somer’s blog over at Vedged Out. The recipe is from Kathy Hester’s The Great Vegan Bean cookbook. While you are there be sure to look at all of Somer’s recipes. She is a culinary genius in the plant based kitchen. I have been recipe testing for her upcoming plant based cookbook and love how she combines ingredients to make flavorful plant based dishes that everyone can enjoy. The Bolognese sauce was gobbled up by everyone. David said it was the best vegan meal he has had! Wow I love that! The flavor and texture are amazing and with the lentils and quinoa it’s quite filling. It would be awesome in a lasagna or any baked pasta dish.
This is the pasta I used. I found it at Costco. It cooks up pretty fast and the flavor and texture is wonderful. I’m sure smaller bags of it are available at regular grocery stores andWhole Foods or Natural/Health Food Stores.
When it came time to serve dinner I couldn’t decide which sauce I wanted and daughter Katy came up with the idea of trying both side by side. It was a brilliant idea! We topped the Alfredo with Pepita’s – pumpkin seeds which you can get at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts or your health food store. The Bolognese sauce was treated to Dreena Burton’s Brazil Nut Parmesan from her cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan but you can also find the recipe here on her blog. The Let Them Eat Vegan cookbook is one of my favorite cookbooks. Everyone loves her recipes even the omnivores in the family think the food is fabulous. My daughter and my mom both have this cookbook and we all cook from it.
Another way to enjoy the Roasted Butternut Squash Alfredo is over a baked potato with steamed broccoli and kale. It was heavenly! So go out and get yourself a butternut squash today and try this recipe over the weekend. You are going to love it! If you want to double your enjoyment also make the Lentil Quinoa Bolognese.
I am so behind in blogging – not that I don’t have lot to share or haven’t been cooking. We have been so busy helping our daughter Katy and her husband Esau work on their house getting it ready for them to move in. We have repainted nearly every room in the house. The only thing that didn’t get painted yet that we had hoped to do is the hallway to the bedrooms but it has been touched up and looks fresh.We have made household repairs and cleaned like crazy. All of the efforts are paying off – now that the new carpet is installed moving day has arrived! We will be packing up their stuff and moving them this Saturday. They are excited to finally be moving into their first house. I am excited that they will only be a 10 minute drive form us. It’s been a joy to have them living with us since July. We are going to miss all the interaction and excitement of having so many young people in the house. Lucky for us son David will still be here so we won’t be lonely!
I have been on thyroid medication for Hypothyroidism and it’s helping. I think I have more energy – hard to know for sure since we have been working so hard on the house project I am dead tired every night. My body aches from all the physical exercise of painting and cleaning. Even my fingers hurt from holding a paint brush – who knew! Once we get through the move I can see how I am really feeling. I really haven’t lost any weight since going on Levothyroxine. But then our diet hasn’t been as good as it needs to be for weight loss either. We haven’t had time for hiking or bike riding either. We have eaten vegan pizza, Chipotle and quick fix food a little too often since there hasn’t been time to cook the way I would prefer. Hopefully next week we can get back on a regular schedule of daily walks and healthy eats!
We love, love, love the way we eat! I don’t miss animal products at all – no not even cheese which is a difficult food for many people to give up. Hubby Tom still enjoys eating meat when we eat out or share meals with friends. Getting together with friends for meals when you are the only one who eats plant based isn’t as much fun since most of the food shared isn’t plant based. Of course I always take something plant based so I have something to eat and I still get to enjoy seeing my friends. I wish my plant based friends lived closer so we could have some plant based pot lucks! A girl can dream can’t she?
My plan is to get back to a more regular blogging schedule. I have found so many awesome food finds and kitchen items – I can’t wait to share them with you all. New plant based cookbooks are waiting to be used more and I have so many new ideas to share.
Happy Healthy Eating!
Add Your Thoughts
What’s your favorite Winter Squash and how do you like to fix it?