Tag Archives: butternut squash

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Have you heard that phrase–anything you can eat, I can eat vegan–? I can’t remember where I saw it. On a t-shirt maybe. Perhaps on someone’s blog or instagram photo. But it really resonated with me because it’s true. There are so many tasty vegan dishes and recipes out there that do an excellent job of replicating non-vegan flavors. So much so, that I wonder why animals are even still used for food.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Take these twice baked butternut squash for example. It’s a beautifully creamy butternut squash topped with a smokey “bacon”. But no cows or pigs were harmed to create it. Cashew cheese was used for the creaminess. And coconut flakes baked with liquid smoke were used for the bacon.

Vegan Coconut Bacon

The coconut bacon I used is Cobi’s from Veggietorials. This is the first coconut bacon that I’ve ever made. And it will probably be the only recipe I ever use because it is the perfect combination of smokey, sweet, salty and spicy. Since the first time I made it (mentioned in my “picture an hour” post), I have made it several times.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon

adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 4 butternut squash (about 4.5-5 pounds)
  • 5 large kale leaves washed, tough cores removed and torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup cashew cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbs chopped chives
  • 3-4 tbs panko crumbs
  • olive oil
  • garlic and onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • enough coconut bacon (or any vegan bacon) to top each squash half to your liking.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 F. Wash the butternut squash and microwave them for about 3 minutes to make them easier to cut. Halve all the squash and sprinkle each half with a little salt and pepper. Place the squash halves (open sides up) in a pan (I ended up using two pans) with about 1/4 inch of water and bake covered for about 25-35 minutes (squash should be tender when pierced with a fork). While the squash is baking, steam or saute the kale leaves with the garlic and set aside.

Take the squash out when done baking and turn oven down to 425 F. When the squash are cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl leaving a small border of butternut squash in each half to help it keep its shape. Mash up the flesh with a fork. Then thoroughly mix in the cashew cheese, chives, kale and salt and pepper to taste. Fill the emptied butternut squash halves with this mixture. In a small bowl, mix the panko crumbs with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. I used my hands to mix everything well to make sure all the panko was seasoned.

Sprinkle the panko mixture on the stuffed butternut squash and bake uncovered at 425F for about 20-25 minutes until warmed through. Finally, top with as much coconut bacon as you desire!

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Coconut Bacon - Luminous Vegans

This dish is a combination of so many flavors that I love. Subtle sweet squashiness from the butternut squash. A slight cheesiness from the cashew cheese. And a touch of smokey saltiness from the “bacon”. It also has wonderful contrasty textures. From the creaminess of the butternut squash filling to the crispy panko and chewy coconut bacon.

This is one of those meals that I try really hard to eat slowly otherwise I might inhale it all at once. So with each bite, I close my eyes and let all the contrasting flavors and textures mingle awhile before I dive in for another. I may or may not make audible moans of pleasure while eating this dish.

What are some ways you like to cook/eat butternut squash?

Baked Shells Stuffed with Cheesy Butternut Squash

These baked shells are packed full of creamy, cheesy, herby butternut squash goodness in every bite. This dish is easy to throw together and easy to customize.IMG_5250 _Snapseed

First I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Then I sliced a whole butternut squash down the middle and de-seeded it. Wash the outside of the butternut squash and nuke it for 3 minutes to make cutting easier.IMG_5202 _Snapseed

I roasted the butternut squash for about 45 minutes (until tender). While it was roasting I prepared the macaroni shells, the big kind used for stuffing. I just followed the directions on the package.IMG_5212 _Snapseed

After the butternut squash got all tender and delicious, I scraped both sides all out into a bowl. I then mixed in 1/2 cup of pre-made cashew cheese (recipe below), a handful of chopped basil and chives and salt and pepper to taste.  You don’t have to use basil or chives, get crazy and try different herbs, use more, use less…don’t use any at all. I used what happened to be in the fridge. You also don’t have to use butternut squash, try pumpkin like I did here.butternut_squash_cheese_mix

Then I stuffed ‘dem shells and placed them in a baking pan. The amount of filling I made stuffed about 12-14 shells. I poured some store-bought marinara sauce over it and baked it at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.pre_bake_shells

And then I stuffed them stuffed shells into my mouth. These were so flippin’ delicious. It’s really the cashew cheese that brings this dish to that next creamy delicious level. The recipe (below) for the cashew cheese is based on Tal Ronnen’s but without having to prepare it for days because I don’t use probiotics.
IMG_5288 _Snapseed

Cashew Cheese

  • 2 cups soaked cashews, drained (A couple of hours is best but it works just as well if you only soak it for 20-30 minutes and use a high speed blender)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Throw everything in food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Stick it in the fridge and use in meals like above or as a veggie dip or cracker spread.

Virtual Vegan Potluck

Hey-o! How’s the virtual vegan potluck (November edition) going? We hope you’re not too stuffed yet to enjoy what we have made here at luminous vegans!

Today we are veganizing a butternut squash lasagna recipe from the food network. Veganizing it was quite simple. We subbed almond milk for the dairy milk, Daiya for the cheese and Earth Balance for the butter and we didn’t use parm.

The first step is to simmer the butternut squash with salt and pepper.

Next, we blended it up with cookies. Instead of amaretti cookies, we used vegan oatmeal cookies.

A creamy sauce was made next with almond milk, flour, Earth Balance, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Half of this was blended with some basil…

and then reincorporated.

Then we built us some lasagna using no-boil noodles.

Lasagna noodles first, then butternut squash

then some Daiya

then some creamy-basil sauce…we repeated this layering several times and topped the whole thing with more cheese.

Ours was a little flat because our pan was a little big, but the taste was not flat at all! It was an all out  flavor explosion in my mouth! I do love butternut squash and all things creamy. I am looking forward to having these leftovers again tonight.

Are you just jumping in to the virtual vegan potluck? You can go to the very beginning of the potluck by visiting our gracious host over at Vegan Bloggers Unite.

Visit the dish before ours by clicking the button below:

See what comes after our dish by clicking the button below:

Have fun!