Friday, April 15, 2011

Catch Up

Hey there, to all those in Blogger world, sorry I've been MIA.  Life got in the way as it's often want to do.  Anyway, I have some fun things going on.  First, on Saturday I volunteered at the North Central Animal Shelter.  Because I was on that side of town, I decided to hit up Figueroa Produce to try some of these sandwiches that Quarry Girl talks about.  The man behind the counter didn't speak excellent English and mumbled a lot, so I'm not entirely sure what I did order except vegan sub.

Nevertheless, it was amazing.  The bread, which is vegan (I checked) was outstanding. Just the right amount of flakiness.  I loved that it had lettuce and sprouts, Daiya cheese, spicy peppers, pickles and Veganaise.  Soooo good.  I wish that it was located closer to my house. I would be there all the time, alternating between that and Locali!

Then I made a butternut squash kale casserole. I am not a huge butternut squash fan.  Something about the texture often creeps me out.  So more often than not, I roast it in the oven, usually too long so that it becomes mush, and force feed it to myself.  I found the recipe on VegWeb and it was perfect!
Butternut Squash, Spinach and Kale Gratin

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

   2 teaspoons olive oil
   3/4 cup onion, chopped
   3 garlic cloves, minced
   1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, chopped 
   1 1/2 pounds kale, chopped 
   1 cup plain nondairy milk (I use soy milk or soy creamer)
   4 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
   1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
   salt and pepper, to taste
   nonstick spray
   1 large butternut squash, sliced into 1/8" slices
   vegan parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, heat  olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. Before the garlic turns brown, add the spinach and kale and cook until they are both wilted and fairly soft. 

2. Add the milk or creamer, 2 tablespoons of the vegan buttery spread, the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook on a medium flame until creamy and heated through.

3. Spray a casserole dish with oil and layer the squash then the spinach-kale mixture alternately until you end up with the squash layer on top. Sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoon of vegan butter.  

4. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top is browned.

This goes great as a side dish or stuffed into a baked potato!

Makes: 8 servings, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Seriously the butternut squash was cooked perfectly and made the kale taste like roasted, buttery perfection.  I may have gone a bit overboard on the Daiya cheese but Becca loves it so that's ok.  I just scraped some of it off.  We fought over the leftovers the next day!

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