butternut squash

Entrée, Fall, Gluten Free, Soup

MIDDLE-EASTERN SPICED SQUASH + BEAN STEW

The news has me a bit emotional lately so all I have to give right now is a warm pot of soup. I have always been empathetic and emotional but being a mother has made me even more so. I can't help but hear stories about the shooting in Oregon or the refugees and personalize them. My family is not entitled to any sort of safety or protection, as cautious as I try to be, and that scares me to death. All I desire is for my people to be safe and healthy and happy; I'm sure that is what any parent hopes for; and when the story goes otherwise, it reminds you that you must hold onto things loosely. These sort of tragedies happen in an instant and my heart hurts for how fragile this life is.

It was fall around here for about two days. A little rain, I put on slippers, bought squash and made banana bread and soup. It's going to be 90' again by the weekend but I can feel the chill creeping in. It's coming and I am ready. So today, it's a simple and spiced bowl of soup for the comfort that food can give when there's not much else you can do. 

MIDDLE EASTERN-SPICED SQUASH + BEAN STEW // Serves 6

Adapted from A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry

I changed a couple things here and only because I don't like to dirty a dish unless it's absolutely necessary. Diana recommends browning the squash before you put them into the stew to get a golden crust. I find that to be lost when it gets cooked further in a liquid so decided to skip that step. Mind you, I haven't tried it otherwise and surely she has good reason so brown that squash if you're up for it!

Chiles vary widely in heat level depending where you buy them so this is tough to predict. I removed all of the seeds from my chiles so got next to no heat in my finished soup as I knew I'd be sharing it with a toddler. Personal taste, I would leave a few in so do so if you want some spice. 

2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red chiles, seeded and chopped
5 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
3 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 3/4 cups (1 14 oz. can) cooked garbanzo or cannellini beans
juice and zest of one lemon
whole milk yogurt, for garnish
fresh mint, for garnish
toasted sesame or nigella seeds, for garnish
cooked brown rice (and lentils if you wish) for serving

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, warm the coconut oil. Add the onions, carrots and a pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles and tomatoes and cook another five minutes. Stir in the cumin, tomato paste and a few pinches of salt and pepper.

Add the squash and the broth and stir to mix. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 30-40 minutes until the squash is softened. Add in the cooked beans (rinsed and drained if using canned) and simmer, uncovered, another 10 minutes to warm through. This should be thick and stew like. Add the lemon zest and juice and taste for seasonings. 

Serve your bowls with a scoop of rice (or rice and lentils), the stew, a dollop of yogurt, mint and seeds. I liked a 2:1 ratio of stew to rice and generous with the toppings. Always :)


Print This Recipe

Entrée, Fall, Gluten Free

BUTTERNUT + GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

We lost Aunt Suzy this week. It has felt strange and sad and I am in no place to speak on grief here. My heart hurts for her boys and husband, my mom and grandma and the gaggle of friends she had who adored her. Talking about anything else feels cheap right now, so excuse my brevity.

I did however want to share this enchilada recipe. You see, this is the recipe (and I use that term very loosely since I make them different every time) I make when I deliver food to friends in need. Mostly families with a new baby. I got extra ingredients this week to make a batch for friends who are battling cancer with their baby girl, and I passed off a plate today to a friend who stopped by who has been sick with a flu this whole week. It feels good to feed someone. I read my pal Ashley's post this week and saw much of myself in her words. Of course I like food; I enjoy eating and I find it somewhat of a challenge to make wholesome food more tasty, but, BUT, I like cooking because I'm a nurturer. It's what comfort I have to give when there are no words. In my language, it says I care for you when a gesture is the only thing that can fill silence. I made a few notes on details below, but enchiladas are pretty forgiving. These are not particularly authentic. They have more vegetables than cheese and a fresh, green topping for color and contrast. Use more sauce if you like them saucey or more cheese if you want a little more decadence.

Give extra hugs. Make your wrongs, right. It's a fragile life we lead, friends. xo

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

BUTTERNUT + GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS // Serves 4

If squash are no longer good, or available, sweet potatoes are a great alternative. I would say about two large potatoes will give you the same yield as the squash here. Spice level is subject to what sort of sauce or salsa you use.

Because I think this is a great meal to deliver to someone in need, it can be made halfway and finished off by the receiver of said enchiladas. Prepare everything and simply don't bake them, just cover in foil and leave the directions for the cook temp + time. You can replace the black beans with two small shredded chicken breasts if you're looking for something more omnivorous but I venture to claim these are plenty filling for the meat eating sort. The cilantro topping can be made in advance but I wouldn't suggest salting it if it will be eaten more than a half day later. The salt makes the vegetables get a little mushy.

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 5-6 ounces soft goat cheese, divided
  • milk or broth as needed to thin
  • 1 1/2 cups/ 15 oz. can cooked black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup/ 4oz. can mild, fire roasted green chiles
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 12 oz. green salsa or enchilada sauce*
  •  // cilantro topping //
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • juice of one lime
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 avocado, diced
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. Peel, seed and cube the squash. Line a baking tray with parchment. On the baking tray, toss the squash with the oil, chili powder, smoked paprika and salt to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast on the middle rack for 30-40 minutes or until nice and soft. Turn the oven down to 350'.

Put 4 oz. of the goat cheese in a mixing bowl, reserving the rest for garnish. Add the squash to the mixing bowl with a generous splash of milk or broth and mash until roughly smooth. 

Mix the black beans and green chiles together. Char the tortillas over the stove. Gather your assembly line with the tortillas, beans, and squash mash. In a 13x9 baking dish, spread 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom. Into the tortillas, spread about a heaping 1/4 cup of the squash mash and a few spoonfuls of the beans on top. Roll the tortilla and put it in your dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining tortillas for as many will fit in your dish. Spread remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle on remaining goat cheese. Lightly cover with foil and bake at 350' for 20 minutes to warm through. Take off the foil and broil another 5 minutes to char the tops. 

While the enchiladas bake, make the cilantro topping. Roughly chop the cilantro and put it, the green onions and pom seeds in a small mixing bowl. Add the lime juice and a pinch of salt and stir to mix. When ready to serve, gently stir in the diced avocado. Serve the enchiladas with a scoop of the cilantro topping on top.

* I use a jarred enchilada sauce or salsa but you could make your own should you have the desire and time. This batch I tried the hatch valley salsa from Trader Joes but I also really like their red enchilada sauce. I am anxious to try Laura's next time (those enchiladas look amazing). 

Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Winter Veggie Enchiladas. Sprouted Kitchen
Print This Recipe

Appetizer, Entrée, Fall

SQUASH + GOAT CHEESE EMPANADAS

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

My overarching theme for this year is about being brave. I realized at the end of last year, that fear motivates a lot of things I do or decisions I make. The fear of failing, of people not liking me, a fear of being misunderstood or undervalued, fear of pain or conflict or not having enough money. It's wasted time really, and I recognize that. There is a Donald Miller quote, "fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life," and I sure don't want that. The most rewarding moments I can remember have been those when I pushed myself a little. I don't have much to say on the topic besides that it's on my mind. To take risks, to make decisions prior to over thinking them, to stop worrying so much. No tiny violins at all, I just hope that in my writing, my food and my time here, I can trust myself a bit more. 

I haven't had the greatest luck with pastry dough but Hugh has an affinity for empanadas so they've been on my "to make" list for quite some time. Americans call them hand-pies, Italians call them calzones, the Argentinians call them empanadas and they're each some version of a stuffed dough. I love the spiced squash and goat pairing here, but you could play around and fill them with whatever you like. The small ones would make cute appetizers or the larger ones would be easy to pack for a picnic or a road trip. I will make these again, hopefully with a bit more patience on the dough side of things.

Hope you enjoy them. Happy weekend.

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

SQUASH + GOAT CHEESE EMPANADAS // Makes about 20 minis or 10 larger

Recipe adapated from Give Me Flour

I suppose you could use any winter squash you'd like here. I tried to give options for spice and herbs, so you can alter the filling to your preference. I used chipotle powder for a bit of heat, but smoked paprika will work well too.

// dough //

  • to spare repeating, see here
  • (the only change I made was sub in 3/4 cup whole wheat flour for some of the unbleached flour)

// filling //

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika or chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green herbs (some combination of sage, parsley, cilantro, thyme)
  • 5 oz. goat cheese (her choice) or jack cheese (his choice)
  • egg wash (1 egg and a splash of water, well whisked)
  • sesame seeds
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 425'.

Follow the dough recipe according the link provided. Wrap it up and keep chilled in the fridge. This cane be done a day in advance.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle it with the olive oil and rub it into the flesh and a bit on the skin. Sprinkle it with salt and cinnamon and roast for about 45-50 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft. Remove and let it cool completely.

While the squash is cooking, saute the garlic and shallot in a bit of olive oil until just browned. About 8-10 minutes.

Once the squash is cool to the touch, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add another pinch of salt, the paprika or chipotle powder, nutmeg, the sauteed garlic and shallots and the green herbs. Use the back of a fork and mash everything together well. Taste the mix and add as you wish, maybe a bit more salt, heat, etc.

Turn the oven down the 350'. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll out the dough to about 1/8'' thickness on a floured work surface and press out the circles for your empanadas. You can use 4'' cutters for small ones, or 6-8'' for a larger size. Leaving plenty of space around the edge, put a dollop of the squash in the center, followed by a dollop of cheese, and fold the circle over. Press the edge with your finger to seal and then press along the edge with the tins of a fork. This got a bit messy for me, stay calm. Lay the empanadas on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and some thyme leaves and bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until just golden. Enjoy warm.

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
Print This Recipe