Curried Butternut Squash Dip

Curried Butternut Squash Dip | ourfourforks.com #glutenfree #paleo #vegan #dairyfree

 

When the weather starts to turn, it seems like we go straight from crisp summer salads and iced coffee to hearty stews and pumpkin spiced lattes. This curried butternut squash dip is a good stop in between – not too light, not too heavy, both sweet and savory, delicious served warmed or cold. Don’t limit yourself to using this as a dip – it’s also great as a spread on sandwiches or as a sauce on pizza….

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Butternut Squash Pot Pie

Butternut Squash Pot Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

I didn’t intend to make this butternut squash pot pie.  A couple weeks ago, right in the middle of third (or fourth) blizzard, Josh was stuck in Baltimore and I was alone in the apartment in need of a project. I wanted to make pie crust – a gluten free and vegan pie crust – and after some searching, I came across this recipe. The pie crust called for vegan butter and vegan shortening, neither of which I usually buy, but included recipes to make both from scratch. Made with a coconut oil base and without weird ingredients, I decided to give both the butter and shortening recipes a try.  The butter surprisingly tasted similar to real butter and the shortening looked convincing, so I continued on to the pie crust. The recipe calls for regular wheat flour, but I used gluten free all-purpose, cup for cup. I was skeptical of the reviews that said the pie crust was “flaky, tender and buttery” and that the dough “rolls like a dream,” but the science was explained and I decided to give it a shot.

As those of you who are gluten free and/or vegan know, many things that claim to “taste like the real thing” are lying. But this pie crust is legit. Roasted butternut squash goes with anything in my book (as seen here, here, and here), and leeks make anything taste comforting to me. The filling for this butternut squash pot pie is extremely forgiving. If you’re vegan, simply substitute the chicken and bacon with chickpeas (as noted in the recipe), more vegetables or even tofu. If you eat meat, other types would be great here too (ground beef, chicken breast, pork – just remember to buy pastured, organic when possible). Leeks, cranberries, sage and thyme give this pot pie a distinctly wintry flavor that will go well with whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand, so feel free to experiment.

Butternut Squash Pot Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

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Winter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce

Winter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce | ourfourforks.com

January is when winter truly starts for me. The excitement of the holidays and warm weather vacations mask the cold of November and December pretty well. January in Boston – especially after spending some time in the Bahamas – is when real winter sets in.

 

I felt like I dove headfirst into January this week – right off the airplane into 20-degree weather and into the work week. Since it’s January I, like most people, would like to eat a little lighter and healthier than I have over the past couple of months but sometimes being slammed back into real life makes that seem difficult to do.

 

Instead of order from our neighborhood Tasty Burger, I decided to use of some healthy ingredients I had stored away and make enchiladas with pumpkin enchilada sauce. Using pumpkin purée and salsa from my pantry and vegetables and corn tortillas from my freezer, I was able to make a comforting, healthy and delicious meal to last a few nights – and avoid a tired, hungry, after-work trip to the grocery store.

 

Pumpkin enchilada sauce is vegan, gluten free and full of Mexican flavor with the seasonal creaminess of pumpkin. To fill the enchiladas, I roasted some vegetables I cubed and froze from my CSA – butternut squash, beets and parsnips– but any veggies will work here. Frozen corn, chopped kale, broccoli– get as elaborate or keep it as simple as you want. I always keep small 100% corn tortillas in the freezer for quick gluten free meals, but brown rice tortillas would also be good.

 

Winter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce | ourfourforks.comWinter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce | ourfourforks.com

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Butternut Squash Burgers

Butternut Squash Burgers | ourfourforks.com

Veggie burgers sometimes get a bad rap for being too crumbly, too starchy, too soy heavy, too soggy leftover… the list goes on. These butternut squash burgers are none of these things. They hold together perfectly, are crispy on the outside and taste even better for lunch the next day. I used butternut squash because of my CSA, but I think any squash-like substance would be a fine substitute; sweet potato purée, canned pumpkin, acorn squash…

 

To follow through with the fall theme, I topped these squash burgers with sautéed leeks and apple butter, but traditional burger toppings would taste good too.

 

Butternut Squash Burgers | ourfourforks.com

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Roasted Almond Butternut Squash Sauce + Potato Spaghetti

Roasted Almond Butternut Squash Sauce + Potato Spaghetti

As soon as the weather turns, I quickly abandon summer salads and turn to fall foods: butternut squash, roasted root vegetables, sweet potato, kale and almond salad, cornbread. For breakfast, I’ve been craving pumpkin granola and for dinner this: roasted almond butternut squash sauce.

 

My plan for this meal was elaborate. We have over 5 lbs of new potatoes sitting in our fridge from our CSA and I wanted to make this gluten free potato gnocchi to pair with the sauce. I took a trip out to Cambridge to visit H-Mart, an amazing Asian market, to pick up some sweet rice flour, then spent hours in the kitchen baking the potatoes, rolling out the dough, shaping the gnocchi. It looked good and I had high hopes. But when I boiled them, they turned to mush: inedible.

 

The piece of this plan that did work out, thankfully, was this roasted almond butternut squash sauce. Roasted squash, almond butter, coconut milk, onions and sage are blended together to make this smooth and rich sauce that is deliciously creamy and vegan. This sauce is perfect for gnocchi (if you have a gluten free recipe that works, let me know) or a pasta (or pasta-like alternative) of your choice including spaghetti squash or this gluten free potato spaghetti. Topped with fried sage and roasted almonds, this is fall comfort food at its best.

 

Roasted Almond Butternut Squash Sauce + Potato Spaghetti

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