Friday, October 06, 2006

Thanksgiving, Squash and Recipe

This is our Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Some of you may have your menu planned... but if not, consider working some winter squash into your festive meal.

Do you want to know more about winter squash? Like what's the difference between a buttercup, red kuri, and butternut squash? Well, read on to find out a few tips, nutritional notes, and a recipe from an article that I wrote for VegFamily some time ago. The recipe on its own is also on my Recipes Page.

I posted about this Pureed Curried Squash and Yam Soup before. It is one of my favorite soups, because it
(1) is pretty easy
(2) makes a huge ol' batch for lots of leftovers to freeze
(3) tastes delicious with the combination of deep orange squash, creamy yams (sweet potatoes), and a hint of curry flavor.

This soup would make a lovely starter to your Thanksgiving meal, or even as part of a main course, served with rustic breads, perhaps a tofu dish or bean casserole alongside, and a salad of mixed greens.

For other ideas for a festive meal, check out this post. Most of these recipes are also in TEV, and you can reference them on page 39 of TEV - the "Holiday Feast Menu". I make this full meal only once a year - it really is a FEAST (and a lot of prep!) - but there may be one or two recipes that help to round out your own menu. Two of my favorites in that menu are the Yam (Sweet Potato) Puree and the All-Dressed Squash (pictured in link).

Enjoy... and Happy Thanksgiving! :) (Don't forget, you can always adopt a turkey for Thanksgiving - or rabbit!)


Julie said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Dreena! I hope you and your family have a great weekend.

That soup looks wonderful. I will surely be incorporating it into our own Thanksgiving meal.

Danielle D. said...

My problem with thanksgiving is that I want to incorporate squash into every part of meal: squash soup, stuffed squash, squash risotto, roasted squash...mmm...

Thanks for the recipe!

Catherine said...

Hey Dreena! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving (we folks Stateside have to wait another month and a half yet . . . bah!) I'm just starting to come around to squash myself . . . I used to think I didn't like it very much!

On past posts, your Popeye pasta looks fantastic -- I love greens in red sauce, too! Also, I wanted to add that if you needed a "Fantastic Foods" helper, I'd be happy to ship off some to you! My co-op stocks many varieties. (Is that kosher with border laws? I just don't know!) Perhaps a trade for something fabulous from your end?

raising_kahne said...

Thanks so much for posting this recipe! I was just trying to think of how I could make something for Thanksgiving, and I think this might just be it.

And thanks for your help about dinner tomorrow. It was really late notice and I didnt really know what to do.And like you said, Im always afraid that they usually put better/cheese on it(all of my family actually saves bacon fat and pours it over the veggies at all our holiday dinners. yuck) I think I will make the Lemon Herb Tofu with some rice probably, some home fries, and probably a salad.

Do you have any help about draining the tofu?? I made the lemon herb tofu awhile back, but I didnt drain the tofu good enough(my first time even seeig it) so it was very mushy.

erica said...

This has nothing to do with your gorgeous squash soup, but yesterday was Korean Thanksgiving - so Canadian and Korean Thanksgiving are both October 6th (Korea is a day ahead), which I never knew until today :)

erica said...

ooops - sorry! I just googled it and today isn't technically Canadian thanksgiving, is it? But they're still close.

Carrie™ said...

I've never been a big squash fan, but over the past few years I've been starting to like it a bit. I thought this dish looked very interesting when you posted it before. Now I just have to be courageous enough to give it a try.
Have a terrific weekend Dreena and Happy Thanksgiving!

maybepigscanfly said...

Happy Thanksgiving Dreena! I didn't realize the Canadian Thanksging occured at the beginning of October. This will be my first Thanksgiving where my family is aware that I'm vegan. So I'm hoping to make some great tasting (and healthy) vegan dishes for them to try. This squash and yam soup seems like the perfect recipe. Too bad I can't convince them to give the Turkey a break this year and have an all veg. Holiday. Regardless this recipe will be a great start for me and my family. (Thanks!)

Also as you noted in the last post that you could possibly still use recipe tasters- I would be thrilled (and ever so honored) to test a new recipe. The last two posts for the tempeh and the spinach pasta sauce were both very appealing to me. I've actually never had a recipe to follow when using tempeh. I just bought it one day and tried different things with it. Anyways= just let me know if you need a helper!

I hope that you and your family have a very enjoyable Thanksgiving!


Melissa West said...

Happy Thanksgiving Dreena!

I am trying to decide still what I will take to the various thanksgiving celebrations we will be attending this weekend.

Thanks for the idea on the squash soup!

Sweet Pea said...

We're celebrating Thanksgiving today with my Hubby's family and then again on Monday with my family. I have tomorrow to recover. :-) For Hubby's family I've made my Carmelized Sweet Potatoes recipe because I already had sweet potatoes on hand and I'm fearful to enter a grocery store this weekend. I plan on making the Mushroom Pie (the correct name escapes me) from TEV at a later date. I can't imagine bringing another dish to my parents. My mom will have plenty for me to choose from.

bazu said...

Happy thanksgiving! I just came home from the farmer's market with a pumpkin, a butternut squash, and an acorn squash, so your soup will definitely be on the menu!
Oh, and if you still need recipe testers, I would be more than happy to test some. My husband and I both really love to cook, so it would be a great opportunity for us.

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Hey everyone! This is Mrs. Carlson's alter ego ;) Thank you so much for your ideas about breakfast - I'm still trying to decide if anyone else has any brainstorms! It has to be "large" and yes, I will try preparing it the night before. Thanks, Dreena, for your help by posting this question! On some side notes... I saw Raising Kaine's question about pressing tofu. I hate to use this blog to "sell" my own (especially since I have been slacking on it) but "Where's the Meat?" has photos to show you how to press it effectively. I have also found that poaching tempeh (simmering in water -15 mins) helps greatly in making it more digestable. Last comment: Wow what a beautiful fall soup! I just love fall foods. I made a butternut squash and mushroom lasagna last week from The Vegan Planet - yum! Thanks also Dreena, for posting about the adopting turkeys site. I will be doing it to make up for the one that my in-laws and parents will be "enjoying!" :(

b36Kitchen said...

Yum! I can just imagine the delicious "holiday food" smell coming from your house. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is at my in-laws house this year who are tofu and vegetarian-phobe so i'll be bringing over food and dessert for one this year. Squash will be involved though.


Dreena said...

Thank you Julie! Thanksgiving is not *as* greatly celebrated in Canada as it is in the US, so we are keeping things pretty low-key!

Danielle, you forgot squash dessert - oh yeah, that's what pumpkin pie is for, right? :)

Hi Catherine - yeah, for sure it is odd that our Thanksgiving is so much earlier than yours - and your Thanksgiving definitely kicks off the entire holiday season, whereas ours doesn't. Oh, thanks for the offer to help with the Nature Burger - I'll keep the co-food smuggler arrangement in mind!! :)

Hi Savanna - gosh, this answer may be too late for you now (hope not), but are you using extra-firm tofu? And not silken extra-firm, right? The tofu really doesn't need to be pressed for this recipe if it's extra-firm. While it bakes it will absorb all the marinade and while it will be tender, it shouldn't be mushy. But, if you DO want a much firmer tofu (more 'meaty'), then freeze the block of tofu and then thaw. Once you open it after thawing, you can get far more moisture out of it and the tofu will suck up marinades - shoooop! - like a sponge! I give some tips in TEV about freezing/thawing tofu, and also Mrs. Carlson has some tofu tips on her blog - she mentions below. Good luck!!!

Erica, that's neat, I had no idea! Our Thanksgiving Day is on the 9th (monday), but many of us have the celebratory dinner on Sunday - so yeah, the two dates are close indeed!!

Carrie, if you can take on tofu, you can take on winter squash!! :) Actually, one of the things I like about this particular recipe is that the squash is baked whole... so, you don't have to work cutting through the hard squash in raw form. I find that a bit tedious (and can be a tad dangerous when my knife skills are interrupted by kidlet emergencies!! - ouch!). Anyhow, it makes for easy cooking, you just split it open when baked and remove the seeds, scoop out the flesh and you're ready to go with the soup. Super easy (albeit a bit orange-messy)!! Have a great Thanksgiving, Carrie. :)

Hi Teresa, wow, this is somewhat of a breakthrough Thanksgiving for you with your family, then, huh? Even if they are interested (and open-minded) enough to try some of your vegan dishes that's a great step - maybe next year they'll go all vegan with you?? Nice thought, anyhow. :) Oh, and I'll be in touch about the testing!

Hi Melissa - it's hard to decide about dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas season, isn't it?? I'm sure whatever you choose it will be delightful - have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow, Sweet Pea - two family dinners in one weekend, yes you need a day to recover!! I'm glad to hear you aren't doing *too* much cooking - prego women shouldn't be working too hard at that - esp during holidays when there is more 'pressure' about it all. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, er, Thanksgiving(s)! p.s. what's your caremlized sweet pot recipe - sounds divine!

Hi Bazu, well, I've certainly seen from your blog that both you and your husband are great cooks! How nice that you share that interest, makes for enjoyable dinner hours for sure. I'll make note that you are interested in testing, and if you ever see a recipe that really intrigues you, please e-mail me about it!

Mrs. Carlson, you're welcome... and I don't mind one bit that you suggest Savanna check out your blog - that's what this is all about!! The mere sound of that lasagna sounds amazingly comforting and delicious. Yes, it does feel like we have to 'make up' for the poor birds that are being eaten this time of year, doesn't it?

Jenna, it's silly how phobic people are about tofu, isn't it? Or anything labelled vegetarian. My oh my. I fully understand though - I've experienced it many a time!! I *do* love the aroma of squash and sweet potatoes roasting - such a homey feeling!

raising_kahne said...

Thank you, Dreena, and Mrs. Carlson! I actually found that I enjoyed the texture more this time because I pressed it for about 15 minutes and there was very little 'wet-ness' in it. It came out very nicely, and Im no longer really freaked out by tofu.

The dinner was pretty smooth. The dad kept saying things like "Well, the green bean casserolle doesnt have meat in it. Neither does the potato salad, what's wrong with them?" and the mother was like "Oh I wish you could be un-vegetarian just this one time so you could eat this food." But all in all it was pretty ok. But the tofu was great. And btw, I made your oat bars last night, and they were delicious! I added some sunflower seeds and raisins in them, and they turned out nicely. Great recipe!

laura jesser said...

I hope you enjoy your holiday! I know Thanksgiving at my house has always been a really busy time, but a really fun time too. I *love* winter squash--thanks for posting about it!

Urban Vegan said...

Things like THIS make the impending winter months easier to deal with.

Sweet Pea said...

The carmelized sweet potatoes recipe is simple. About 3 sweet potatoes cut into pieces, 6 garlic cloves, 1 onion and then heat up 2 oz of margarine (Earth Balance is great) and add it to 3 oz of brown suger. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes, garlic and chopped onion. Then add about 4 T of water. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft and golden. This recipe is good for 3 to 4 people.

DreamQueen said...

Winter squash is amazing. I made stuffed butternut squash as part of my Thanksgiving meal...even before I read your suggestiont to do so.

By the way, your Popeye Spinach Pasta sounds yummy!

Vicki said...

love the wheelbarrow squash photo -- it seems to capture the feel of Fall. Happy Thanksgiving to you, the menu sounds scrumptious! I'll be incorporating as much as I can in a little over a month from now....

Dreena said...

Hi Savanna, great report on the tofu - hurray! Your dinner sounds like it went "okay" too!! Even the closest to us don't always understand when/why we won't eat a side dish because it perhaps has butter in it, etc. Just keep showing them your own good food and hopefully they will want to eat your dishes instead of theirs. :) Glad you liked those oat bars as well!!

Thank you Laura, yes, we had a nice Thanksgiving - quite low-key, and I really enjoyed that. :)

Urban Vegan, you sound like a spring/summer gal like I am! Soups are one of the few things I DO like about the colder months - so comforting.

Oooh, sweet pea, that dish sounds very more-ish and really tasty. You're living up to your name with that one!

Hi Dreamqueen - that's cool!! What do you typically use as your stuffing - rice based, or breadcrubs, and nuts or dried fruit, etc?

Thanks Vicki! I think I'd prefer Thanksgiving closer to the Christmas holidays, just to 'get into the season' with it... though, it's probably more relaxed further away. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting about the soup, it inspried me to make a pot of it today. It's rainy and cold here so looking forward to having it for dinner. My house smells so good and it turned out really well.

I am curious if you, or anyone else have any suggestions of what to make for a halloween party for my kids and their friends, ages 4-7yrs old. My children eat a lot of vegan foods, I do not feed them any processed foods, food colouring, etc and my son is sensitive to many things including dairy, chocolate-not carob, wheat,yeast, food colouring, apples, strawberries, melons, pork, and many other foods. I am looking for just healthy vegan ideas for a halloween party for all the kids, the other children coming do not eat vegan normally so I want to find things that are fun and healthy.

I do have both of your cookbooks,which I love, so any ideas from the books are good too. Thank you so much for your help. I look forward to hearing back from you and others to get some halloween party vegan food ideas. :) Keri

DreamQueen said...

Hey Dreena

For this stuffed squash recipe, I used rice, bread crumbs, nuts, and veggies! It was very rich and yummy.