(Un)Squash Creativity

Have you noticed a lack of recipes on Adventures in Local Food lately?  I will admit to a case of late winter blahs in the kitchen.  I’ve been feeling rather uncreative.  I mean, really, how many times can you post about the exact same soup?

However, this week there was a burst of warm weather and the urge to spring clean has hit!  And with this new (if premature) spring energy, I have issued myself a challenge.

I want to unplug my chest freezer by mid-May.

It’ll just be unplugged for 2 months or so, until the summer bounty starts to roll in.  I figure that this will both save energy and ensure that mysterious frozen foods don’t live in the bottom of the freezer for years upon years.  And I will still have the freezer on top of the fridge for a small number of frozen foods in the summer months.

I also want to eat what’s left in my root cellar before it goes bad.

This means eating the majority of the contents of both over the next two months.  And I want to do it using mostly new recipes.  And I will tell you all how it goes.

The first vegetables to participate in this challenge were a butternut squash and some frozen green beans.  I have made this squash soup about 5 times this winter and, tasty as it is, I just can’t bring myself to eat another batch of it.  I needed a new squash recipe.  I also seem to have a lot of miso paste at my house, so I thought that this too, could be incorporated into the recipe.  I started googling and found this recipe for Roasted Miso Squash at the 101 Cookbooks blog.

One of the things I like about this recipe is that while there’s a total of 70 minutes of cooking time, there’s only about 10 minutes of actual preparation time.

My cooking method is rather haphazard.  I like to find interesting sounding recipes and then alter them within an inch of their former selves.  So here’s what went in my roasted miso squash (green bean, chick pea, cabbage) dish.  (I changed the recipe because I had neither maple syrup nor orange juice at the time, so I used honey and extra lemon juice.  I substituted the tofu for chick peas, and added green beans and cabbage, just for kicks.)

Roasted Miso Squash

1 butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon tamari
2 tablespoons honey
1 heaping tablespoon miso
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons water

1 cup of chick peas (amount flexible*)
1 cup of green beans (amount flexible)
1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage (amount flexible*)

* Amount flexible really just means that I didn’t measure.  🙂

Preheat the oven to 425.  Peel and slice the squash. Toss with 1 tbsp of sesame oil and roast for 40 minutes (check on them at the 20 minute mark and flip).

While the squash is cooking, mix together the remaining sesame oil, molasses, tamari, honey, miso, lemon juice and water in a large bowl.  Add the chick peas, green beans and cabbage (or other vegetables of your choosing) to marinate.  Set aside until the squash is done.

Mix the roasted squash with the vegetable marinade mixture and bake in a casserole dish for 30 minutes, until much of the liquid has boiled off.  Serve as a side dish or over rice.  I imagine it would also be good topped with greens or nuts.

So, what are you cooking in your kitchen these days?  Anyone have inspiring ideas for the last of the season’s root vegetables?

Yours in food,

Marla

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