Tag Archives: vegetarian times

Give Squash a Chance

Give Squash a Chance: Five Ways to Make it Taste Great (Believe Us!)

Butternut Squash Soup from Real Simple

Real Simple's butternut squash soup is a delicious way to eat squash.

Yes, its name is sadly unappetizing, and often the way squash is prepared makes the name seem perfectly suitable. But here are five delicious ways to work the super nutrient food into your diet.

My husband is the perpetual squash-hater. When we were first married I cooked recipes with acorn squash, butternut squash and yellow squash, and while polite and thankful for the food, he just couldn’t get over the texture.

A few years later, I’ve picked up a few skills for getting the vitamin A-, alpha-carotene- and beta-carotene-rich food into our diet — and even getting my husband to enjoy it. Here are some great recipes that have worked for us:

1. Butternut Squash Soup With Sage and Parmesan Croutons from Real Simple Magazine:

This delicious recipe uses the nutty flavor of butternut squash accented with some onion, celery, sage and parmesan to create a delectable bisque that even the pickiest eater can’t turn down. If you’re working with an especially avid squash-hater, you can also add crumbled bacon to add additional flavor.

2. Roasted Vegetables from Whole Living Magazine:

Infuse winter veggies with the flavors of olive oil and any assortment of herbs you like. Roasting with this recipe crispens up the outside of the veggies while making the insides nice and tender and flavorful. The diversity of this recipe allows you to play around with the herbs and spices you enjoy.

3. Summer Squash Pizza from Cooking Light Magazine:

Who doesn’t love a good pizza? With this recipe from Cooking Light, you can get a little zucchini and yellow squash into your meal by including it on a pizza. For those who don’t like the texture of squash, just cut your pieces a little smaller than called for in this recipe. This hides the texture and lets the squash add flavor and nutrients without adding anything else.

4. Summer Squash and Applesauce Muffins from Vegetarian Times Magazine:

Did you know you can even work squash into something as delicious as a muffin? Try this recipe from Vegetarian Times, and you don’t even have to tell anyone you snuck some squash into their snack. If you think about it, it’s not that different than sneaking carrots into carrot cake.

5. Panang Vegetable Curry from Bon Appetit Magazine:

Go gourmet with your squash and enjoy this recipe from Bon Appetit that incorporates the flavors of homemade curry paste, tons of squash and an assortment of herbs. Who ever said squash had to be boring?

With these and other recipes you can start to make squash a staple in your fall and winter diet. For the freshest squash, take a trip to your local farmers market and select from an assortment of just-picked seasonal produce.

Photo by Jim Franco

Can Your Whole Family go Gluten-Free?

Can Your Whole Family go Gluten-Free?

Can Your Whole Family go Gluten-Free?When blogger Kara Gause found that her family needed to go gluten-free, she at first panicked but then found some incredible resources she shares here.

Over the past several years, I’ve come to realize I have quite a few food intolerances, one of them being gluten. Sure, I was more than a little bummed to say sayonara to the convenience of delivery pizza, but these days I’m finding that my dietary needs are more of a small annoyance than a giant inconvenience, thanks to some great gluten-free products. I have only come to say this after much whining, tantrum-throwing, pity partying and–most productive of all–researching.

When my husband and I found out that we both have some of the same food issues (gluten), we decided it might be best to begin avoiding gluten altogether for our daughters, determining that it could be hereditary. Of course this resulted in more whining and tantrum-throwing–mine, not theirs.

Would I become one of those mothers whose children never tasted cupcakes or pizza or yummy sandwiches? Ever? What would become of them? After bemoaning their lost gluten-filled childhood, I became resolute: We would all have our gluten-free cake–and we would eat it, too!

So, whether you’re in my boat or you’re just looking for a nice gluten-free recipe, here are some of my favorite resources for gluten-free cooking, baking and eating. May they help bring you and yours (if gluten-challenged) back to your favorite foods.

“BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery” and “BabyCakes Does the Classics.” These books comprise the baking bible to celebratory and everyday gluten-free baked goods. The secret to a moist gluten-free confection is coconut oil, which makes for the most delectable yum-yums you’ll ever eat. There are fantastic recipes for cobblers, donuts, cookies and even my girls’ favorite–carrot cupcakes. Some of these treats are my husband’s favorites of all time.

Pamela’s Products. Miss the everyday ease of grabbing a muffin or whipping up a quick batch of pancakes and waffles for the family? Look no further than the good lady Pamela. There are gluten-free mixes for everything from pancakes to cookies to brownies and pizza dough. She even provides a mean ready-made chocolate chunk cookie for the car ride home from the grocery store.

Gluten-free blogs. Bloggers like the Gluten-Free Goddess are solely responsible for making me excited about cooking and baking again.

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods. Prepared muffins, pizza crusts, loaves of bread (yes, really!) and the best granola you’ll ever eat–all available in a regular grocery store chain as well as Whole Foods. Udi’s means you can once again make a sandwich for lunch. Power to the people!

Local and national chain pizzarias. Gluten-free pizza dough is popping up everywhere. Some aren’t so great (back to the drawing board for you, Mellow Mushroom!), but others like California Pizza Kitchen are making some major strides. The best I’ve ever had is from Nashville-based Pizza Perfect, so check with your favorite local pizza joint, and always remember the supply and demand principle: If enough of us demand it (politely, of course), they will supply it.

For more information on gluten-free recipes, check out magazines like Vegetarian Times, Whole Living and a myriad of other cooking and nutrition magazines.