Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sweet Squash Puff Packets
I admit to being a bit competitive. I like a good challenge. I hate being told I can't do something. And, even a hint of the word 'contest' gets me moving. Not that winning is a concern - the end bit doesn't much matter to me. It is the idea of working with (against) a whole load of like-minded people (cooks, writers, runners) who all share an exact goal.

Anke touched a nerve in my personality when she blogged about a contest that involved one of my favourite veg: Butternut Squash. Who doesn't love this veg? It is dynamite in flavour and its versatility is much appreciated by this little vegan - soup, stews, curries, muffins, grilled, baked, name it, this little squash can do it.

My idea for this recipe came to me one morning last week while I was running to school - it had started raining and I needed to divert my desire to flag down a bus and hop on. All in all, it worked out really well and I would definitely make it again. I had never worked with puff pastry before, so it was an exercise in discovery-cooking. I had originally imagined the squash to be stuffed inside a phyllo pastry - but, hey! on Easter Sunday - you take what you get from the grocery shops that are kind enough to open their doors.

-1 butternut squash
-1 sweet potato
-1/2 apple
-curry spices to taste
-1 (or 2 depending on size of box) puff pastry - or make your own

How To:
I sliced the squash, and sweet potato into 1/2 cm coins, marinated them in the spices, some water and a small bit of soy milk, and baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes - just to warm them up. While doing so I cut out the dough into four quadrants. I laid equal amounts of the baked squash - potato mix and topped them with apple slivers before closing up the packets.

I baked the pastry for about 20 minutes and served them with a middle eastern dipping sauce, some left over chick pea and spinach curry that K had made on Saturday and some grilled asparagus. They were excellent.

For desert (and breakfast this morning) I whipped up a version of Happy Herbivore's sweet potato muffins. I changed some of the ingredients and added dates (inspired by Urban Herbivore restaurant in downtown Toronto). These were wicked easy to make and to quote K as he heads for a second breakfast muffin: "They are great, and I can eat as many as I want because they are vegan"!!!

-1 sweet potato
-1 cup of chopped dates
-1 1/2 cups of flour
-1 cup of soy milk
-1/4 cup of maple syrup
-1 tsp of baking soda
-2 tsp of baking powder
-egg replacer for 2 eggs (I used flax powder and water)
-Cinnamon to taste
-1 tsp of vanilla
-1/4 cup of crushed walnuts

We made a wacky last minute change to our two week travel plans. We decided to ditch Slovenia - the weather they were forecasting wasn't conducive to our plans of hiking the alps. So we have opted for some chill out time (finally) in Brussels, a trip to Paris and day trips to Cologne, the Ardennes and some curtain making......It might sound less exotic, but this tuckered vegancowgirl couldn't be more excited.


Jennifer said...

I agree butternut squash is one of the best veggies out there. So sweet, so tasty. AND you added sweet potato too? You are my new best friend! Aside from hot, hot peppers, sweet potatoes (or yams) and butternut are my favorite veggies.

This looks so good! I think I may have to try this at some point, though I'm quite intimidated about working with puff pastry, I have to admit.

Oooooh, I like your variation on these muffins using dates! I may have to try this one out. I have been wanting to make these for awhile. I was thinking raisins, but dates seem far more creative, and I've even seen them in the bulk section of the store. :-)

Enjoy your new vacation plans!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll, I will do the same, your blog is fantastic! Do you mean "The Coup" on 17th? I haven't been there yet. =( But I really want to!

Mmm... sweet potatoes are one of my favorite carbs, hehe. =)

aTxVegn said...

I love sweet potatoes and those goodies look heavenly!