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CURRIED WINTER SQUASH SOUP
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: The squash for this soup is cooked until just tender and it isn't puréed. The curry adds notes of heat to the squash's earthy sweetness; a splash of fresh apple cider adds tang. For a variation, try making this soup with sweet potatoes. From "The Northern Heartland Kitchen," by Beth Dooley.
• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 celery rib with leaves, finely chopped
• 2 to 3 tbsp. curry powder, or more to taste
• 3 c. vegetable stock
• 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-in. chunks
• 1/2 c. coconut milk
• 1/2 c. fresh apple cider
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Chopped green onions and fresh cilantro
In a deep heavy soup pot, warm the oil and cook the onion and celery until very soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stir in the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the squash and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk, cider and salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve garnished with chopped green onions and cilantro.
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:
Calories 135 Fat 7 g Sodium 85 mg
Carbohydrates 20 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 67 mg
Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 5 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 1 1/2 fat.
RED KURI SQUASH STUFFED WITH WILD RICE AND CHICKPEA PILAF
Note: This makes a very hearty side dish or lovely vegetarian and vegan meal. Red kuri squash looks like a small bright pumpkin without ridges. Feel free to substitute other squashes, such as butternut, acorn or kabocha. To toast hazelnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or until the skins begin to crack. Remove and place in a clean dishtowel and rub them until skins flake off. I recommend using hand-harvested lake wild rice that is pale brown and cooks in about 20 minutes, rather than the paddy rice that is shiny black and requires 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook. From Beth Dooley.
• 2 small red kuri squash (see Note)• Sunflower oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 c. vegetable stock
• 1/2 c. dry white wine
• 2 c. cooked wild rice (see Note)
• 1/3 c. dried cranberries
• 1/4 c. chopped parsley
• 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
• 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
• 1 c. cooked chickpeas
• 1/2 c. toasted, chopped hazelnuts (see Note)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half horizontally and remove seeds. Rub cut sides with a little oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast squash until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Film a large skillet with about 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and set over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and mushrooms until very soft and onions begin to brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in stock and wine and reduce by half. Stir in wild rice, cranberries, parsley, thyme, sage, and chickpeas, and heat through. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Turn squash cut-side up and spoon wild rice mixture into squash halves. Sprinkle squash with chopped hazelnuts. Return to the oven and heat through.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 425 Fat 14 g Sodium 365 mg
Carbohydrates 69 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 140 mg
Protein 13 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 14 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 1/2 other carb, 3 fat.
AUTUMN HARVEST BARS WITH CRANBERRY GLAZE
Makes 16 bars.
Note: Squash isn't only for savory dishes; try it in this bar cookie from "The Northern Heartland Kitchen," by Beth Dooley.
• 1/2 c. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing baking dish
• 11/2 c. light brown sugar
• 1 c. roasted squash purée (see Squash Basics at right)
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 c. buttermilk
• 13/4 c. flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1 tbsp. cinnamon
• Pinch of grated nutmeg
• Pinch of cloves
• 1/2 c. craisins or raisins
• 1 c. powdered sugar
• 1/4 c. cranberry juice or apple cider
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and tap out any excess flour.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until it's fluffy. Beat in the squash, eggs and buttermilk.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the squash mixture, blending until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in the craisins.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes up clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.
To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and juice. Spread glaze over the bars while they are still warm.
Nutrition information per bar:
Calories 240 Fat 7 g Sodium 280 mg
Carbohydrates 44 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 56 mg
Protein 3 g Cholesterol 39 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 2 other carb, 1 1/2 fat.
SQUASH LASAGNA WITH WALNUTS AND KALE
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: This is perfect for entertaining; easy to make ahead. It's a vegetarian dish, but omnivores won't miss the meat. To toast walnuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and put into a preheated 350-degree oven for about 3 to 5 minutes, until they darken and begin to smell nutty. To smash garlic cloves, lay the cloves on their sides and press with the blade of a knife to separate the skin and break or "smash" the cloves. From Beth Dooley.
• 2 to 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, or more as needed
• 2 onions, thinly sliced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 to 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (see Note) plus 2 chopped garlic cloves, divided
• 2 c. milk
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 c. roasted squash purée (see Squash Basics)
• 1/2 c. chopped parsley
• 1/4 c. chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tbsp. dried
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage, or 1 tsp. dried
• 1/2 c. dry white wine
• Sprinkling of nutmeg
• 1 c. lightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (see Note)
• 1 (8-oz.) package no-boil lasagna noodles, divided
• 11/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 bunches kale, rinsed, stems and ribs removed, and chopped
• Pinch of crushed red pepper
In a large deep skillet set over low heat, melt butter and cook onions, stirring to coat with the butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, then add the 4 to 5 smashed garlic cloves. Stir and continue cooking another 10 minutes, until the onions become caramel color. Set aside.
In a small pot set over medium heat, scald the milk (heat just below boiling point) with the bay leaf. Remove milk from the heat and set aside. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Place squash purée in a bowl and stir in the parsley, thyme, sage and wine; season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Toss in the toasted walnuts.
Lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Lay a base of noodles in the baking dish. Top the noodles with a layer of squash, a layer of onions and some of the Parmesan cheese. Add another layer of noodles. Drizzle some of the scalded milk over the dish and top with the remaining cheese. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and, if the dish looks dry, drizzle a little more milk or wine over the dish and continue baking, uncovered, until the lasagna is bubbly and golden, another 20 minutes or so.
To prepare the kale, heat the olive oil in a skillet; then add 2 chopped garlic cloves and the kale. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the leaves. Cover and cook until the leaves are tender, about 10 minutes. Season the kale with the crushed red pepper. Arrange the sautéed kale on top of the lasagna and serve.
Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:
Calories 440 Fat 21 g Sodium 406 mg
Carbohydrates 47 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 460 mg
Protein 18 g Cholesterol 55 mg Dietary fiber 8 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat.