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Winter Squash Bisque (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

For a while I was convinced this soup would make people fall in love with me. In reality I just make this soup for all the people I really really love. This dairy-free recipe for winter squash bisque is warming, smooth, and even yummy cold. Additionally, it is quite filling especially when served with fresh bread and or cheese. Oh! And it is also gluten-free, vegan, and fat-free.dairy-free winter squash soup

In Hawaiʻi it is not always possible to get good tasting affordable butternut squash, hubbards, etc. They are available in some WholeFoods and Safeway but they are seriously taxed. I’m talking like $15 squashes.

Here on the Hāmākua coast squashes grow pretty well. Especially in the fall/winter. One local variety is Kabocha squash. The skin is so tender you can eat them. But also a lot of people call any winter squash they see in Hawaii a Kabocha. In reality, there are so many local varieties that are unnamed because they are constantly crossing with each other.

I recommend going to your local farmers market or grocers and picking up a squash that looks like it has a deep colored flesh. I prefer the ones that are orange or pink on the outside. Try a few and save the seeds of the ones you like best. Either plant the seeds fresh out of the squash or dry the seeds.

The tropical winter squash is full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Depending on the variety, winter squash can have very high levels of Vitamin A (up to 350% RDV), Vitamin C (up to 50% RDV). Look for squashes that are deeper colors of yellow, orange and red for example Butternut, Hubbard, Kuri. These are little higher in nutritional value than spaghetti or acorn squash. There are also loaded with fiber, have some protein, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Thiamin, Potassium and Manganese.

If you like soup purées try out my recipe for red pepper coconut squash soup.

Recipe for Winter Squash Bisque

winter squash bisque vegan gluten-free

 

Ingredients

  • 1 winter squash (medium, about 5 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 large or 2 small potatoes
  • Enough water to cover ingredients (vegetable broth and chicken broth is also good but not necessary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Materials:

  • Blender (immersion blender is the easiest)
  • Large soup pot

Steps:

  1. Cut the squash open, save the seeds for planting or eating, and roast squash in oven  350-400F until soft enough to scoop away the flesh from the skin easily (I put my cut side up in a casserole dish with a little water  so the steam helps it cook quicker).
  2. While squash is cooking roughly chop the remaining ingredients
  3. For a richer taste you can sauté these in butter or olive oil for 5 minutes before you add broth or water
  4. Add the water or broth until about an inch above the veggies and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium
  5. When the squash is tender let it cool for a few minutes (so you don’t burn yourself), peel it and add the flesh in chunks to the soup
  6. Cook another 10 or so minutes to let the flavors blend
  7. Remove from heat and let sit until it stop bubbling and soup is cool enough to blend (you don’t want a glass blender to crack under the heat, a plastic blender to melt plastic into your soup, or the immersion blender to spit up hot soup at your face and body).
  8. At this point blend your soup until a uniform puree is achieved.
  9. Put back on the stove to warm, season with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve hot (with shredded hard cheese for some extra protein and yummy goodness) and bread for dipping.

Resources:

  1. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/butternut-squash.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_squash
  3. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63
  4. https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/winter-squash

 

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Healthy baked spaghetti squash

Who can resist the novelty of the stringy flesh that so delicately mimics spaghetti. It also works so well to substitute or accompany Italian-style meals.  It stinks for me that spaghetti squash isn’t a tropical squash but I still love it.

I love cooking spaghetti squash as the main starch for delicious Italian meals. It is also wonderful to accommodate a culinary experience that is friendly to guests who are gluten-free, paleo, or just hip to the vegetable scene.

There are several ways I recommend using this squash to build your main dish:

  1. The first is doing the typical, spaghetti and meatballs dish with tomato sauce or other saucy sauce.
  2. The second, vegetarian option is to cook the squash and serve a homemade tomato sauce full of greens, garlic, and any other veggies that you have at your disposal.
  3. Serve with chicken and another sauce like pesto or mushroom gravy.

Recipe for healthy baked spaghetti squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds, or 1000 grams (serves 2-4 if you add enough other protein and veggies)

2014-09-24 13.00.06

Steps:

  1. Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. To prepare seeds  wash them and get most of the squash flesh off
  3. Place on foil and spray lightly with oil and salt. Cook at 400 degree F for 20-30 minutes while you are baking the squash, making sure to turn over the seeds and mix around about every 7-10 minutes.
  4. Place the squash flesh side up in baking dish. Pour about ½ inch water in the bottom of the dish so that the squash doesn’t burn and the heat from the steam allows it to cook more evenly.
  5. Place the squash in the preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 45min-60mins. It is done when the squash is easily dented with your finger, the top is golden and the flesh forks easily into “spaghetti”2014-09-24 14.38.39
  6. To serve add to your favorite sauce, meat, etc.

Enjoy.

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