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Veggies Archives | Elizabeth Borelli

Italian Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Makes 4 servings

This festive favorite is surprisingly simple to pull together.  Acorn squash is easy  to prepare, just hard to cut, so enlist a hand if you need to!

The combination of olives, sundried tomatoes and oregano creates a savory stuffing reminiscent of the best Italian cuisine, while the lentil and grain combination adds the pleasing texture to this delicious vegetarian stuffing.  Serve Italian Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash as a meat-free main dish friends and family will love.

Ingredients

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved, pulp and seeds removed
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • ¼ cup quinoa or millet
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry sundried tomatoes, chopped (a blender or food processor is perfect for this)
  • ¼ cup whole grain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. powdered garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 385.  Place squash halves, cut side down on a glass or metal baking sheet (glass is easier to clean), and place in the oven.

Cook for 35-40 minutes until squash is soft, then remove from the oven.  This step can be done ahead or while you’re preparing your stuffing.

Give your lentils a quick rinse to remove any debris.  Add 8 cups of water to a large saucepan and pour in the lentils and quinoa.  The water should cover the lentils by at least 4”.

Bring the water to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes before adding the onion, celery and sundried tomatoes.

Return the lentil mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes longer, until the lentils are tender.

Remove from the heat, drain and pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

Turn the squash halves over to cut side up, and fill with stuffing mixture.  Place back into the oven 385 degree oven and cook for 10-15 minutes longer until the stuffing begins to brown.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Sweet and Savory Brussels Sprouts Sauté

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Brussels sprouts rank high on the list of cabbages with a bad rap, and undeservedly so.  The trick is to bring out the sweet nutty flavor in these earthy veggies by cooking them until almost al dente, but definitely not overdone.  Fresh and in season ( like now!) is the best time to give those Brussels another try.

Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, just six contain 90 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C per day. And according ot the authors of “Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer,” eating three servings of crucifers like brussels sprouts per week can reduce the risk of developing cancer by increasing the rate of chemopreventive glucosinolate in the body.

All of which is fine on paper, but you have to like them first.  Try tossing them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a dash of salt before roasting at 400° for 35-40 minutes ‘til the edges are brown, then serve.  Or use this easy recipe:

Sweet and Savory Brussels Sprouts Sauté:

6 servings

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp Braggs Amino Acids
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt (optional) to taste
  • 1/8 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 c. dried currents

Trim the stems, then halve the sprouts lengthwise to each half has part of the stem to hold it in tack.  Steam sprouts in water in a large sauté pan for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.  Drain and return to heat, add remaining ingredients and briefly sauté ‘til lightly onion is cooked and sprouts are lightly browned (5-8 minutes).

Enjoy warm or serve at room temperature tossed into a hearty green or grain salad.

Savory Pumpkin Curry Sauce

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Makes 4 cups

Pumpkin recipes are all the rage this time of year, and with excellent reason.  Pumpkin is a nutrition powerhouse that rings with Fall flavor, sending the culinary creativity soaring.  This Savory Pumpkin Curry Sauce is a family favorite at my house, where my kids love the creamy texture and savory blend of flavors in the cozy Fall dish.

Easy to prepare, this sauce is perfect to simmer your favorite veggie blend in (see suggestions below), and serve spooned over brown rice.

In keeping with my theme of planning ahead, the recipe makes enough to freeze a batch for use whenever you need it. For best results, freeze in a glass jar, lid left slightly ajar until fully frozen to avoid breakage, for up to 2 months.

Ingredients :

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in just enough water to cover them, for at least 30 minutes
  • 2 large onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups cubed cooking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes, or 1 cup cooked pumpkin (cooked or BPA-free canned)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups rice or your favorite plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or a dash of stevia
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger or 1-inch piece of ginger root (unpeeled is fine)

Optional for added heat :

  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper or cayenne powder

Ingredient suggestions for creating your Savory Pumpkin Curry stir fry:

  • (Steam, covered in 1” water for 12 minutes before adding sauce)
  • Sweet potato cubes (1” cubes)
  • Broccoli or cauliflower florets
  • Carrot (halfed lengthwise and cut into 1” pieces)
  • Asian eggplant (halfed lengthwise and cut into 1” pieces)

(Steam, covered in 1” water for 8-10 minutes before adding sauce)

  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped cabbage
  • Sliced mushrooms

(Steam, covered in 1” water for 5 minutes before adding sauce)

  • Diced green onions (1” cubes)
  • Diced tofu
  • Chopped basil

Add 1 inch of water to a saucepan. Add cubed pumpkin or butternut (if using) onions, garlic and cover, turn heat to medium, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until onions are softened and translucent. Let stand on the stove for 5 minutes longer, covered,  then remove the cover and let it cool off for at least 5 more minutes.

When you’re ready, pour the steamed veggies into a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Savory Pumpkin Curry Sauce freezes for up to 2 months, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Veggie Taco Pizza (gluten free)

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Makes 2 12” pizzas, 4-6 servings
Preparation time:  20 minutes
Bake time:  30-40 minutes

Easy Vegan Taco Pizza is so savory and satisfying, you won’t believe how nutritionally stellar it is.  It’s gluten-free and vegan optional too.  This recipe is very abundant, so if you’re only cooking for one or two, freeze half of the crust, then just thaw, top and bake when you’re ready to serve it.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium-sized carrots, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 large parsnip, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage
  • Coconut oil for the cooking dish
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean or brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups pico di gallo or salsa fresca
  • 2 cups plant or dairy based shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup chopped olives (optional)

Preheat the oven to 385 degrees.  Lightly oil 2 cookie baking pans with coconut oil.

Place chopped carrots, parsnips and sweet potato pieces in a saucepan with 1” of water.  Heat, covered, on a medium high stovetop to simmer, then lower the heat to medium low and steam for 7-10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

Turn off the heat and drain the liquid from the veggie mixture.  Let the pan sit for a few more minutes to allow the vegetables to begin to cool.

Add the steamed veggies and the sage to the blender or food processor, and process until well blended, but there is no need to completely puree here!

Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the flour, salt, seasoning and garlic until blended.   Divide the dough in half and using your hands, flatten each half onto one of the oiled cookie sheets to create a 12” round pizza crust (it will be about ¼” thick).

Bake for 10 minutes, before removing from the oven.  Sprinkle with cheese, top with pico de gallo or salsa fresca (and olives if your using them) and return to the oven to be for 10-15 minutes longer, until cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and serve.

Kung Pao Noodles

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

4-6 servings

Prep and cook time:  15 minutes

This delicious dish is so quick to make it actually takes less time than stopping for takeout, and you control what goes into it.  Typically a dish high in salt, sugar and fat, this version of Kung Pao Noodles is optimized for taste and nutrition without compromising the yum factor.

You can easily convert this kid-friendly, vegan recipe to a gluten-free version by just substituting rice or quinoa pasta for the whole wheat spaghetti listed below.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound package whole wheat (or your favorite) spagehetti noodles
  • ½ cup real peanut butter (no sugar or high fructose corn syrup added)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  •  3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper sauce (Sriracha is our family favorite)
  • 2 cloves crushed or teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated or powdered ginger

Cook the pasta according to instructions on the package. While it’s cooking, wash your veggies, shred your carrots (no need to peel them first), and chop the green onions.

Measure peanut butter and add to a glass dish (you can use a 2 cup or larger glass measuring cup as your mixing bowl if you have one).

Add the remaining ingredients to the peanut butter and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, until warm.

Mix the sauce until the consistency is smooth.

When the pasta is done, drain it and put it back into the cooking pot.  Add the shredded carrot and green onion to the pan and cover it for 2 minutes so the hot pasta slightly steams the veggies.

Finally, add the peanut butter sauce and toss with large serving forks to combletely combine.  Serve warm or cold, topped with chopped smoked tofu if you like.

 

Savory Harvest Veggie Bake

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

4 servings

Prep time:  20-30 minutes

Cook time:  45 minutes

This savory and satisfying alternative to your everyday meatloaf is not only simple to prepare, it’s loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins and too many other good things to list here.  Don’t make it for the health benefits though; it’s so delicious no one ever needs to know.

Savory Harvest Veggie Bake is essentially a heavy-duty blender or food processor recipe, which on the upside makes clean up a snap.  Cook it in a glass casserole dish with a cover if you have one, so you can store any leftovers in the fridge as-is and save yourself a step.

I use high protein garbanzo bean flour in this gluten free version, but you can substitute brown rice flour or any other whole grain flour you have on hand just as well.

Ingredients

  • 6 carrots, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
  • 3 or 4 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups raw cashews, pre-soaked in just enough water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage
  • Coconut oil for the cooking dish
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean or brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper (optional)

Soak cashews for 30 minutes in just enough water to cover them.  I soak mine right in the Vitamix!

Preheat the oven to 385 degrees.

Place chopped carrots and sweet potato pieces in a saucepan with 1” of water.  Heat, covered, on a medium high stovetop to simmer, then lower the heat to medium low and steam for 7-10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

Turn off the heat and add the green onions.  Replace the cover and let the pan sit for a few more minutes to allow the onions to soften and the other vegetables to begin to cool.

Add the steamed veggies and the sage to the blender or food processor, and blend with the cashews (and soaking liquid) just until completely blended, no need to completely puree here!

Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir the flour until blended.  Pour into an oiled casserole dish or loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until the top begins to look dry.

Remove from the oven, let sit for ten minutes before slicing into squares and serving.

Sensational Summer Chickpea Salad

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

This salad is a snap to make and especially delicious with freshly cooked garbanzo beans, but canned (BPA-Free) work as well.  The fresh corn adds a hint of summer sweetness, a nice balance to the tang of your favorite salsa.  I love it for sharing at picnics and potlucks, since you get lots of flavor, fiber and protein for your buck.  Serve as a side dish or over a bed of mixed greens or shredded kale for a simple, satisfying lunch.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2-3 large celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 4-6 green onions, thinly sliced (I use the whole thing, green and white)
  • 1 ear of fresh corn, (steamed,  kernels removed, cob discarded) or 1 cup frozen corn (organic or GMO-free)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh salsa (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To prepare beans from scratch, soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse beans, then add to a large stockpot and fill with water to cover the beans by at least 6 inches.   Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1½ to 2½ hours, until tender.

Drain and rinse your garbanzos, whether they’re cooked or canned, then add to a large salad bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, stir to thoroughly combined and serve at room temperature.

Note:  Sensational Summer Chickpea Salad is even better when it’s prepared an hour or so ahead, or better still the day prior, to really let the flavors meld.

Zesty Citrus-Grilled Zucchini

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy garden-fresh zucchini.  More of a simple preparation style than a recipe, I suggest making more than you may eat in one sitting.  Chilled Zesty Citrus-Grilled Zucchini makes a wonderful addition to green salads, quinoa or rice dishes you would like to embellish.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 whole organic zucchinis, split lengthwise, each half cut into long triangular strips (see image for example)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic power

Pre-hear your grill to a medium temperature (low flame), ten minutes prior to cooking.  Place zucchini strips in a flat-bottomed baking dish with sides to contain liquid.  Combine marinade ingredients in a cup or small bowl, then pour over the zucchini and toss to coat. Place zucchini strips on the grill crosswise to rack so they won’t fall in.  Cook 3-5 minutes each side until browned but not burnt.  Remove from heat after all sides are browned.  Serve warm or chilled.

Mama’s Italian Zucchini

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Summer Abondanza!

My mom used to make this delicious dish as frequently as our zucchini was plentiful when I was growing up. It reminds me of long summer days and lively family dinners outdoors in the warm night air.  Although she’s not actually Italian, I suspect mi mama got this simple recipe from her mama-in-law, who most definitely was.

The cook time here is much longer than I typically recommend for vegetables, but the results are melt-on-your-mouth delicious.  Sprinkled with bread crumbs or cheese, Mama’s Italian Zucchini turns kid-friendly favorite too!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups of zucchini, sliced into ¼ – ½” rounds
  • ½ red or yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves of crushed, or 1 tsp. powdered garlic
  • ½ – 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 8 oz. (BPA-free) can of diced tomatoes
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped OR 1 tablespoon pesto sauce
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Garnish with:  ground black pepper, seasoned bread crumbs or grated parmesan cheese

Add the first 5 ingredients to a large saucepan (with cover) and lightly sauté for 5-7 minutes, until onions begin to soften.   Stir in tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat.  Cover and cook at a low simmer (you’ll probably have to lower the heat) for 20-30 minutes, until veggies become soft and almost translucent.  Add the basil during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Serve warm, garnished with bread crumbs or grated parmesan cheese.