Friday, January 6, 2012

vegan food

Alright, here we go ... vegan food. These are the most awful pictures ever...except for the one of the cat. I work until 6:00 p.m. nowadays, so when I get home it is pitch black outside and my SLR (which has no flash) is useless under incandescent lighting. So....I used my iPhone. And while we are in full disclosure mode, I confess that I ate a piece of pepperoni on my no meat day - half a small stick to be exact - because when I got home I was so hungry I could chew my arm off.

One of my new year's goals is to eat more vegan food. Now, let's not kid anyone here, I am not a vegan - I live in Calgary where nary a vegetable grows between September to June, it's winter most of the year and the second largest industry after oil and gas is beef farming. Our fruits and veg are all imported, probably sprayed with who knows what to keep from rotting during transport.  However, I will attempt to have some non-meat days and to have some vegan dishes on those days - the Babe is officially not participating in this.  The above is roasted squash with portobello mushroom. Apparently the squash is organic, or so it claims. I am not certain where the squash was grown, but I can tell you it was not here. I can also tell you that this dish is so delicious, the scent of sage permeates the house and it's like thanksgiving in January.  This dish is vegan and gluten free (I think) and apparently a quarter of this squash with filling has only 254 calories - now I am sure we all like that at this time of the year. Personally, I devoured an entire half on my own, even after the pepperoni stick. The recipe came from some juicing website, which very often does not work, so I will just write it out here.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushroom and Sage
1 medium Acorn Squash
3/4 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground Black Pepper
6 Tbsp. Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 large Portobello Mushroom, chopped
1 small Onion, chopped
2 tsp. Fresh Sage, finely chopped
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim off each end of the squash. Stand the squash upright and halve lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and the seeds and discard. Brush each squash half with olive oil, and then sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt and the black pepper. 

Arrange cut sides down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the squash until the flesh is tender and the edges are golden brown, approximately 25-35 minutes and remove from oven.

While the squash roasts, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute 2 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms, sage, 1/4 tsp. salt and the red pepper flakes if using, and saute until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 

Fill the roasted squash halves with the mushroom mixture and bake again for another 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving:
Calories: 254
Protein: 2 g
Fiber: 2.5 g