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Roasted sweet potato, turnip, and onion from the 4/3/13 cooking demonstration

Roasted sweet potato, turnip, and onion from the 4/3/13 cooking demonstration

Roasted Vegetables

Community meeting cooking demonstration, 3/6/13 and 4/3/13

The simplest (and often tastiest) way to cook most vegetables is to roast them. We’ve done this before (broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potatoes, squash, and more), but here are some general instructions for pretty much any vegetable.

Choose any of the following vegetables:

  • root vegetables: potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, beet, etc
  • squash: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc
  • “cole crops” (the broccoli family): broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage (wedges with the core attached works best), kohlrabi
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • green beans
  • almost anything you can think of

Preheat oven to 400. Gather as many baking sheets or dishes as you have kinds of vegetables (it can be fine to mix them, but sometimes they cook at different speeds).

Cut the vegetable into whatever size pieces you want. They can be bite-sized, or you can take a knife and fork to them later. If you’re mixing different vegetables together to roast on the same pan, make sure the pieces are the same size so they cook at about the same speed.

Place vegetables in a bowl (keep different vegetables separate if you have enough baking dishes) and add a pinch of salt and just enough oil to coat them lightly. Toss or mix to combine.

Spread oiled vegetables on baking sheet and place in oven. The amount of time your vegetables will take depends on the vegetable and the size of the pieces. After about 20 minutes, begin checking your vegetables. They are done when a knife or fork slides in with no resistance and the edges are medium to dark brown.

Halloween Chili

Committee meeting working lunch, 10/18/12 – served with pumpkin cornbread

The pumpkin and spice in this beef-and-bean chili adds a subtle taste and a lot of fiber, vitamin A, and other nutrients.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided between beef and onions
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 14-ounce or 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans beans, any variety, drained from liquid
  • 2 cups pumpkin or other winter squash puree (see  instructions, or use canned)
  • 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil and brown the beef. Remove the beef to a bowl or plate, then add the remaining tablespoon oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook 1 minute more, stirring.

Add remaining ingredients (tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and spices if using) and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30-75 minutes – the longer the chili cooks, the tastier it will be.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Committee Meeting working lunch, 9/27/12 (used roasted cushaw squash puree)

These soft, chewy cookies have all the flavors of fall. You can use canned pumpkin, or you can use roasted squash puree from any kind of winter squash.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or substitute more all purpose if unavailable)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (OR puree from any other winter squash)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips OR raisins OR dried cherries/cranberries

Heat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, oats, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer if available, cream butter and both sugars. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips or dried fruit and mix in.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Cool at least 2 minutes before removing from sheet.

Yield: about 48 cookies.

Toasted Squash Seeds

Seeds are the “free gift with purchase” when you have a squash. Turn them into a tasty snack with this recipe.

  • Seeds from one winter squash (pumpkinbutternutacorndelicata, etc), separated from pulp
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • Spices of your choice:
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, stir the seeds around a bit so they cook evenly. Seeds are done when they are crisp and golden brown.

Note: some seeds (especially from acorn squash) may begin to pop. Once they’re popping in the oven, they’re done.

Roasted Squash Puree 

Roasted squash puree can be substituted for canned pumpkin in any recipe. You can make a large batch and freeze it to use whenever you need.

  • 1 winter squash, any variety (butternut, acorn, delicata, buttercup, hubbard, red kuri, cushaw, etc)

Preheat oven to 400. Slice the squash in half in whatever way is easiest. Using a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Save the seeds for toasting.

Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast until completely tender, about 90 minutes (timing will depend on the size of your squash). Allow to cool.

When cool, scoop the squash flesh away from the skin and place it in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the squash until it is fairly smooth. If desired, you could use a food processor, but a fork usually does the job well.

Use as you would canned pumpkin. Freeze for later use if desired.

Winter Squash (Pumpkin Spice) Angel Food Cake

Committee meeting working lunch, 9/6/12

Garden training picnic, 9/19/12

This light, airy cake becomes perfect for fall with the addition of pumpkin or squash and fall spices.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cooked squash puree (you can use canned pumpkin, or any winter squash roasted and mashed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 whites)
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar. Whisk or sift together to combine well. In a separate small bowl, combine squash or pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set both bowls aside.

In a very large bowl, use an electric mixer to begin beating the egg whites. When they get foamy, add the cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Continue to beat until whites are no longer clear, then gradually add the white sugar. Beat until shiny stiff peaks form.

Dust the flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold in, using a spatula to cut down to the bottom center of the bowl, then slide up the side and fold the mixture over. Repeat this folding motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until no flour streaks are visible.

Add the squash mixture to the batter and repeat the same gentle folding in motion, until fully incorporated.

Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan or angel food cake pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cake springs back when gently poked. Invert the cake pan on a rack or a stand that keeps the cake off the table. Allow to cool completely while upside down before removing from pan and serving.

Serves 10-12.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Squash Seeds, and Apple-Mustard Dressing

Community meeting dinner and cooking demonstration, 12/15/11 – variation of this mix-and-match salad

Cutting squash during the cooking demonstration

Gardens aren’t just for the summer. This salad is made with very late-harvest ingredients. Kale can survive long into the winter, and late-fall squash can be stored all winter long. There are many kinds of kale, and all of them work well in this recipe (other greens like spinach or swiss chard also work well). Any kind of squash would also work here, but butternut has smooth skin and is easy to peel, which makes it a good choice for this recipe. The whole recipe comes together in less than 40 minutes, but you only have to work for 20 of them.

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