Make the Most Out of Your Vegan Ingredients

Perhaps you have decided to go plant-based, have come home from a supermarket haul and have started to pack away a variety of fruit and vegetables into your fridge? You may be wondering what you will do with it all and you might be worried about wastage.

Let us focus on one vegetable and give you some examples of different recipes you can make through the week if you didn’t want to use it all in one go or if you are struggling for inspiration.

Our focus will be on a Butternut Squash. This is a type of squash that grows on a vine, it has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It is a good source of fibre, potassium, and several other key nutrients. The nutritional content of squash makes it beneficial for digestion, blood pressure, and for healthy skin and hair, among others. Here are 5 recipes for you to try.

 

Recipe 1. Vegan Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach

Serves: 4 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons virgin (or unrefined) coconut oil 
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder (mild spice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups (about 18 ounces) diced butternut squash (1/2-inch dice)
  • 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 14-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (see note 2)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 cups baby spinach

 To Serve

  • chopped roasted peanuts for topping (optional)
  • 4 to 5 cups cooked brown rice

Method

  1. Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, and then add the onions. Cook the onions for about 2 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute.
  2. Next, add the curry powder, coriander, and red pepper flakes, and stir to coat the onions with the spices. Add the diced butternut squash, crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, water, and salt. Cover the pot with the lid and bring everything to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and let the squash simmer for 15 minutes. Remember to stir the pot every 5 minutes or so to prevent the curry from burning on the bottom. After 15 minutes, pierce a piece of butternut squash with a fork to see if the squash is tender. If the squash is still very firm, keep cooking the curry for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat. Add the baby spinach and stir the curry until the spinach starts to wilt. The spinach should start wilting in about a minute.
  5. Serve the curry in bowls with a side of brown rice or your favourite grain. Top with chopped peanuts, if desired.

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Recipe 2. Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Serves: 4 

Ingredients

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 Butternut Squash (Medium to Large)
  • 3 Medium Carrots
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sprinkle Salt
  • Sprinkle Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil

For the Soup:

  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 tsp Crushed Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Paprika
  • 1 14oz/400ml Can Coconut Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce*
  • 1 Cup (240ml) Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • Chives
  • Black Pepper
  • Vegan Yogurt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squash and carrots. Place into a bowl with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, thyme and basil and toss together until the vegetables are coated in the oil and spices.
  3. Place onto a parchment-lined baking tray and place into the oven to bake for 35 minutes until vegetables are roasted.
  4. Place the chopped onion, crushed garlic, olive oil, cumin and paprika into a pot on the stove and sauté together until onions are softened.
  5. Then add in the roasted butternut and carrots and toss together.
  6. Add coconut cream, soy sauce and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer to blend the flavours.
  7. Remove from heat and blend.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with a swirl of vegan yoghurt and chopped chives.

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Recipe 3. Butternut Squash Vegan Buddha Bowl

Serves: 4 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut in one-inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, (optional)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups baby spinach)
  • 1 can black beans, (1 1/2 cups cooked) rinsed and drained
  • 1 apple,  chopped
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Tahini Lime Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water, (use less for a thicker dressing)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup, (or substitute agave)
  • salt, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Add the butternut squash and drizzle with the olive oil, if using, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands. For an oil-free version, use water for roasting (or steam the squash instead of roasting). Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the squash is tender and lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa according to the package directions.
  4. To make the Tahini Lime Dressing, blend all the dressing ingredients until very smooth using a blender, or food processor. 
  5. To make the Buddha Bowls, divide the spinach among four bowls. Add a quarter of the quinoa, black beans, butternut squash, and apple to each. Drizzle each bowl with Tahini Lime Dressing and top with a quarter of the pumpkin seeds. (The quinoa, black beans, and butternut squash can be served either warm or cold.)

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    Recipe 4. Vegan Butternut Squash Brownies

    Ingredients
    • 1 small butternut squash or 1 cup butternut squash puree 
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cacao powder
    • 1/3 cup cane sugar
    • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips
    • 2 Tbsp almond milk
    • 1 Tbsp canola oil
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt

     To Serve

    • chopped nuts (optional)

    Method

    1. Cut the ends off the butternut squash. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Peel the tough skin off and slice into rough 1 inch cubes. Coat cubes with coconut oil, spread onto the cookie sheet and bake in 350° oven for 25 minutes. After the squash is baked, transfer cubes to food processor and process into a puree. 
    2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flours, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate mixing bowl stir together 1 cup squash puree, sugar, almond milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Carefully combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Stir only until incorporated. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips. 
    3. Line either a 9x9 or 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper. Scoop batter onto parchment paper and spread into even layer. Scatter and lightly press in the remaining 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips on top of the spread batter. Bake for 15 minutes in 350° oven. 
    4. Once removed from the oven, sprinkle your favourite chopped nuts over the top for extra texture.

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    Recipe 5. Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

    Serves: 4 

    Ingredients

    • 150g (5 oz) pumpkin or squash seeds
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 140 C / Gas mark 1. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or aluminium foil.
    2. After removing the seeds from the pumpkin, rinse with water, and remove any strings and bits of squash. Pat dry, and place in a small bowl. Stir the olive oil and salt into the seeds until evenly coated. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking tray.
    3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until seeds start to pop. Remove from oven and cool on the baking tray before serving.

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    This method of spreading out the use of a vegetable over several dishes can be used on pretty much any other vegetable or fruit. There are thousands of recipes that you can pick and mix to make your weekly shop go further. Why not try batch cooking and freezing the leftovers, which you can always re-heat and use as another meal or lunch further on in the week!

     

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