Autumn Squash Bake – $3.67 recipe/ $0.46 serving

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This lovely little casserole is a perfect side dish for a potluck. Layered with zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, and hearty baked tofu, it browns very nicely in the oven and reheats beautifully.

Ingredients

1 yellow squash ($0.30)

1 zucchini ($0.34)

1 orange bell pepper ($0.89)

1 block soft tofu ($1.85)

1 tbsp. vegetable oil ($0.05)

2 tbsp. non-dairy butter ($0.10)

1 tsp. dill ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. cumin ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. coriander ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. onion powder ($0.03)

1/4 tsp. cayenne ($0.02)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Slice squash and zucchini, and dice bell pepper. 

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3. Grease dish with oil and layer with zucchini. Set aside, now cook your tofu. 

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4. Crumble soft tofu in a pan, add in peppers, herbs, and non-dairy butter. Saute for 10 minutes on high. 

5. Layer sauteed tofu mixture on top of zucchini in casserole dish. Then add another layer of zucchini and yellow squash, reserving enough to make a design on the very top of the casserole. Spread the remaining tofu mixture on top of the squash and zucchini.

6. Now make a pattern with the reserved squash. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and add a few cranks of fresh black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. 

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7. Now serve! Use a slotted spoon as there may be a bit of reserve liquid on the bottom of the casserole. The extra liquid is important, it enables you to easily re-heat the casserole without it drying out.

Thanksgiving Stuffed Zucchini with Cranberry Nut Dressing

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I initially thought I wanted to make stuffed sweet potatoes for dinner (another time for sure), but the sweet potatoes at the market looked a bit dicey. Since my original plan had to be scrapped I decided to just wing it and make sweet stuffed zucchini. I can’t stop myself from going the sweet and savory route this time of year. When Jarad tasted them he said, “This tastes like all of thanksgiving in one bite”.

The recipe itself is unbelievably simple and quick, but still looks elegant enough to serve as an appetizer with dinner. The stuffing is sweet and savory, and the zucchini meat is perfectly tender. I really enjoy the versatility of this dish for entertaining: if you’d like an informal party food, you can easily double the recipe, and then halve each stuffed zucchini (which would make 24 pieces!); on the other hand, you can serve each diner one or two well presented halves as a first course for a more formal dinner. In fact, I think tonight I’ll serve up my leftovers with a simple side of pasta and make a meal of it.

Ingredients

3 zucchini

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 tbsp. almond milk

1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. sage

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375. 

2. First wash and halve your zucchini. Make a small incision along the interior perimeter of the skin of each half. Now the inner flesh of the vegetable should be loose enough to be scooped out with a spoon. Set aside all of the scooped out zucchini, separate and throw away any large clumps of seeds. If some seeds stay in your mixture that is fine. 

3. Place all of the ingredients except the zucchini skins into a food processor. Pulse until you have a minced puree. It should not be liquid, rather it should be a rough paste. 

4. Fill your zucchini boats with the cranberry nut stuffing. Place on a baking pan layered with parchment paper. 

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5. Bake stuffed zucchini for 20 minutes, and serve. 

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Look at that Thanksgiving goodness.