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, stuffed....you 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
-curry spices to taste
-1 (or 2 depending on size of box) puff pastry - or make your own
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.