Confession: while I just published the post on baked acorn squash, I actually baked that squash a week ago. There’s nothing unusual about that in my writing timeline. However, reviewing all those pictures for the post was so tantalizing that I had to have more baked squash! That’s my confession. I seriously love winter squash! And acorn squash is just too delicious to eat any way other than baked with brown sugar and maple syrup. Admittedly, I don’t deal well with change. But what to go with it?!
Inspired by a recent conversation with the developer of Farmstand: an amazing iPhone app I’ve been using with sheer delight (it’s amazing and beautiful and allows you to really integrate with all your local farmers’ markets and you should go grab it now while it’s free!), I decided to throw together a meal of just vegetables. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat at certain restaurants; I just order a table of side dishes because they’re all so yummy I can’t narrow it down to one or two.
Back to the vegetables I had available to me. Glancing at my recent haul from the farmers’ market, I just saw colors: reds, purple, greens, and I wanted a colorful plate when I finished. To complement my beautiful orange acorn squash, I selected one leek, half of a purple cabbage, and one bunch of asparagus. That gave me orange, purple and green. Perfectly beautiful. I can probably go ahead and confess again: I have been known to apologize to my daughter on occasion for not providing enough color variety on her supper plate. I have issues.
While the squash was baking, I prepped the cabbage and asparagus. Their respective cook times would be super fast, and wanted everything still hot when it reached the plates. I loved the blend of colors and the resulting flavors complemented one another beautifully, too.
- Acorn Squash - Halved, seeded
- Leek - 1 large, white part chopped & cleaned
- Red Cabbage - 1/2, chopped
- Asparagus - 1 pound, chopped into 1
- Nutritional Yeast Blend - 1-2 T
- Sea Salt - to taste
- Fresh Pepper - to taste
- Coconut Oil - 1 T
- Olive Oil - 1-2 T
- Maple Syrup - 2-4 tsp
- Brown Sugar - 2-3 T
- Earth Balance - 2 T
- Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a big spoon. I find my ice cream scoop works wonders on this task.
- Place your two halves, sunny side up, in a baking dish with water covering its bottom.
- Put Earth Balance, brown sugar and maple syrup in the center of each half.
- Bake in 400℉ oven for just over an hour.
- You'll know the squash is ready when you can easily pierce it with a fork and are confident it is soft and ready to eat.
- Cut or break off ends of asparagus
- Cut or break asparagus rods into one or two bite-sized pieces
- In a large bowl, coat asparagus with olive oil
- Add salt, pepper and nutritional yeast blend, mixing well to evenly distribute
- Spread asparagus on baking stone or cookie sheet
- Bake in already hot from the squash oven for approximately 15 minutes
- Test for readiness with fork
- Cut cabbage in half, and reserve unused portion for another meal.
- Cut half the cabbage into long slivers
- Chop white portion of leek into rounds
- Heat wok on stovetop and melt coconut oil
- Add chopped leek and saute for two minutes
- Add chopped cabbage and toss to incorporate leek and coconut oil
- Salt to taste
- Stir-fry 5-10 minutes
For the Plate