Interlude -- Kitchen Overachiever

I have been following a (mostly) vegan diet since mid July of this year, and I have been working hard to convince my friends and family that this does not just mean eating tofurkey and celery sticks all day.  The easiest way to follow a diet like this is to search out recipes that use lots of vegetables, beans, and whole grains, rather than trying to replace meat and dairy with expensive fake versions.

The hardest part about this, however, is making food that impresses other people, without being labeled as "weird vegan food."  Last night a group of my friends had a potluck, and I am pretty sure I succeeded in supplying really tasty vegan food for their consumption.

I realize it's a bit overboard, but I have always been an overachiever in the kitchen (duh.. I'm spending every weekend for 3+ years making cookies), and since this recipe I found in the Veganomicon was so good, I will share it with you:

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls

This was a time-consuming but fun recipe to make.  The colors of the squash and cilantro go very well together, and the pumpkin seeds add a nice salty flavor.  I suggest adding more squash and less rice noodles, but that may just be my American tastes poking through
(makes 12)

1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4" cubes
2-3 t olive oil
12 round rice paper wrappers
4 oz rice sticks
1 C fresh cilantro, in bite-size pieces
1/3 C roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, chopped coarsely

1. Prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Place the butternut cubes on a baking sheet and rub them all over with the oil.  Arrange the cubes in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, toss, and cook for 10 more minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized.  Transfer the squash to a plate to cool.

2. While the squash is cooking, prepare the noodles: boil a large pot of water.  Once it is boiling, turn off the heat, add the noodles, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to prevent further cooking.  Set aside until ready to use.

3. To assemble: Fill a large pie plate with very warm water.  Place two rice paper wrappers in the water at a time, completely submerged and let sit for about a minute, until they have softened.
Handle each wrapper gently as you place it on your work surface.  Place about 1/4 C rice noodles in the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about 1 1/2" of margin from the far edges on either side.  Place a layer of butternut squash above the noodles.  Sprinkle with the cilantro and pumpkin seeds.  To roll, snugly fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling.  Lift the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and tuck it underneath the filling, then roll firmly but gently.  Place the rolls seam side down on a plate and cut in half when ready to serve.

I served these with a spicy cranberry sauce, but they should also go well with a soy dipping sauce.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails