Delicata Squash & Roasted Poblano Pizza

Fall, to me, is about making mistakes. Not the wrote-cunt-instead-of-count kind of mistakes or even the locked-my-keys-in-my-car-in-Gary-Indiana mistakes, just dumb mistakes you make when you’re in transition. By default, I spend the first three weeks of the season dressing like summer is ostensibly going to hang around for a while, but end up shivering and bitter that I can’t learn my lesson. I giddily bike places at dawn only to end up stuck peddling home in the dark (invariably sans bike light). I jump the gun to get in winter hibernation mode and find myself two pints deep in a pub on Monday night then show up at work Tuesday morning with a vicious hangover. I eat cereal out of the box at my desk for lunch most days, which isn’t a mistake per se, but is at least something I should probably think about changing.

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Mistakes catalyze learning. Fall is the perfect time to open a new chapter of change. This particular autumn has brought a new job in a new place where I’m meeting new people and making a whole new dose of mistakes. In all this newness I am learning about myself; I’m seeing my strengths and more clearly defining my weaknesses. Most days are good, a few are scary, some suck a big one.  Like, the biggest one ever. I try to remind myself that in all the newness some turd days are inevitable, but they still slap me in the face like I’m in an episode of Basketball Wives.

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Amid all of this learning and growth I can also appreciate the rock-solid support I have in my life. My boyfriend, Ben, is always there to cheer me up, or at least make all of the jokes he knows about beef tacos (only two). My family is supportive and my mom’s vegan baking habit still hasn’t subsided (can I get an amen?). I have awesome friends and family who are encouraging every step of the way. And I have pizza. Okay, mainly I have pizza.

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Squash and Roasted Poblano Pizza
#squashtober

  • 1 pizza dough (store-bought or homemade!)
  • 1 Delicata squash
  •  1 poblano pepper
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup pizza or other tomato sauce
  • handful of spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • baking spray (or more coconut oil)
  • salt

Preheat the oven to 400*

1. Slice the squash the long way and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Slice into thin (1/2″ or so) slices and rub them with melted coconut oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread on a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast at 400* for 20-25 minutes, or until nice and tender. Remove and set aside.
2. If you have a gas range, place the whole poblano over a medium flame. With tongs, rotate the pobalano every 2-3 minutes until the whole pepper is charred on the outside. Place the charred pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (this helps loosen the skin). Set aside for 5 minutes, then carefully peel off the charred skin. Chop the pepper into thin slices. If you have an electric range, roast the pepper along with the squash in the oven.
3. Increase the oven temp to 450*.
4. Prepare your dough. If using store-bought, sprinkle with flour and stretch out. Spray a pizza pan or round cookie sheet with baking spray and spread the pizza dough on the sheet. Cover the crust with pizza sauce, leaving 1″ around the rim for proper crusty goodness. Layer on sliced onion, sliced poblano, cooked squash, and spinach to top the pizza. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crispy. Remove and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then serve hot.

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Delicata Squash, Roasted Red Pepper & Rosemary Pasta

I’m all in favor of the Indian Summer we’ve been having lately (BOYCOTT ALL OF THE PANTS), but I also lurrrve me some fall comfort food. If it could be 70 degress and sunny all year and appropriate to eat apples and squash and cinnamon and sweet potatoes and rosemary I would call that my perfect world. My most recent fallish obsession has been roasting squash with coconut oil, salt, and a little cinnamon at 400* until it’s beautiful and tender. Trust me. Try it. Heaven.

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I have also been working on developing some Hangry Meal recipes, yet often find myself too hangry to meticulously recipe test when I get home from work. Go figure.

This weekend I finally had time to cook (after seeing Ben Afleck’s peen in Gone Girl, priorities people!) and I really hit the nail on the head wit this recipe. The sauce is not too tough to make and is slurp-it-by-itself good. It can be refrigerated and added to pasta for a meal that’s ready in, well, as long as it takes to cook pasta. It could probably even be frozen and defrosted. I KNOW, RIGHT?

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I made a big batch of this recipe and as I was sitting down to try it Ben wandered into the kitchen. He grabbed a fork, twirled the pasta up, took a bite and said, “HOLY SHIT THIS IS GOOD. SO MANY FLAVORS.” I didn’t know whether to take it as a compliment or a diss, considering he eats food I cook about six days a week and never remarks on all of the flava flave. I’ll choose to be flattered.

Delicata Squash, Roasted Red Pepper & Rosemary Pasta

Adapted generously from The Minimalist Baker

  • 1 box (12 oz) of pasta – your favorite kind! (I recommend spaghetti though)
  • 1 delicata squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary (or to taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400*

1. Cut the squash the long way in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, throw on a baking sheet and rub with coconut oil and a pinch or two of salt. Throw the red pepper on the baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.

2. In the mean time, place a pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbs of olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and shallots and saute for 5-6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside.

3. Once the squash and pepper are done roasting, allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes, until they’re not too hot to handle. Peel off the pepper’s charred skin and place the skinned peppers in a food processor. Scoop out of insides of the squash and place in the food processor as well. Add the sauteed shallots and garlic, plus the almond milk, veg stock, rosemary, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until it becomes a thick sauce. If necessary, add an additional 1/4 cup of almond or soy milk to loosen.

4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Once drained, toss with the sauce until all of the noodles are covered. Serve hot and garnish with additional rosemary.

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Tempeh Two Bean Chili

So I know that in my last post I made all of these declarations about how I was going to be showering you with quick meals for the week that will keep your hangry self from imploding as soon as you walk in the door from work/school/saving the world, one canker sore at a time.  I know that I said that, but I have to digress for one post. You see, last week it dipped down into the 20s in Boston! Okay, it was actually the 50s, but that’s too goddamn cold for September and everybody knows it. Cold temps = hot soup. That’s just the way it is. I know every food blogger from here to Kathmandu is making pumpkin cakes and drinking PSLs, but this week I just had to put on my long underwear and make chili. YOU’RE SO AHEAD OF THE SEASON, IZZY!

I know, blog reader, I know.

 

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But this chili is RULL GOOD. So, I don’t know, bookmark it for the first really cold weekend and make it then. Or if you’re my mom and aren’t familiar with bookmarking, print it and stash it away in your recipe box until November. No, mom, I won’t tell you how to print.

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The great thing about this recipe is that it’s stick-to-your-ribs-keep-you-warm-for-winter filling. The tempeh is so good and protein-filled and makes for a very hearty meal. Serve it with a hunk of bread and you’re all set for hibernation mode.

What’s that? It’s only September? Oh, shit.

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Tempeh Two Bean Chili

The fun thing about this chili is that you can really use whatever beans you want. I’ve made it three ways: black + pinto + chickpeas, black + cannellini, AND black + decker.

(Serves 4)

  • 2 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (red or yellow)
  • 1 package tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or water + season to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 can bean of choice (kidney, pinto, cannellini, chickpeas. Just don’t use navy beans. Those strike me as weird.)
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • chopped scallions (optional, for garnish)

1. In a pot with a nice, heavy bottom warm oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for 6-7 minutes, or until it starts to sizzle and the onions begin to turn golden. Add the chopped pepper and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.

2. Add the tempeh. Spread it throughout the pan and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. I told you this wasn’t a very quick meal. Once the tempeh has golden brown bits, add the tomato, vegetable stock, corn, beans, tomato paste, and spices. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes. The soup will thicken up and turn very hearty. Garnish with scallions and serve hot.

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