stuffed squash

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ingredients:

2 T coconut oil, separated

1 medium onion

¼ chopped green chilies

¼ t ground cumin

2 c water

1 c brown rice

2 t salt, separated

1 ¾ c cooked beans (1 can of beans, rinsed and drained)

1 small bunch of cilantro

1 c shredded vegan cheese

6 round zucchini and summer squash, (you can also use regular slender sized squash)

1 large avocado

1 lime

3 T water

tools:

measuring cups and spoons. 1 medium sauce pot with fitted lid. heat proof rubber spatula. cookie sheet. foil. cutting board. sharp knife. blender. soup soon.

chop green chilies.  then, small dice onions.  set aside, keep separately.

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in the medium sauce pot add 1 T oil and turn heat to medium. add onions, cook for 5 minutes. stir occasionally to prevent browning. add chilies, cumin and 1 ½ t salt. cook for 2 minutes. add rice and cook for 1 more minute. then add 2 c of water. bring water to boil and turn down to low.  put the lid on the sauce pot. cook rice for 30-40 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.

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while rice is cooking, pre-heat oven to 375°. line the cookie sheet with foil. wash squash.

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cut the top of the squash off ¼ way down. shave a thin layer from the bottom of the squash to create a flat surface.

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if using regular squash you can cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside.

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using a soup spoon carefully scoop out the inside of the squash. once all the squash have been hollowed out, move them and their tops to the foil-lined cookie sheet. with the remaining oil, grease all the squash, including tops. season with ¼ t salt. 

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place the squash upside down. this will prevent any juices that accumulate while baking from running staying inside the squash. bake squash for 5 minutes. after they are baked, remove from the oven and flip the squash right side up.

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chop cilantro and keep separate.  set aside 2 T of the chopped cilantro for the avocado sauce.

once rice is done cooking, add cilantro, cheese and cooked beans. mix gently.

using the same soup spoon, stuff the squash with the rice and bean mixture. after all the squash are filled, place the cookie sheet back in the oven until the cheese begins to melt, about 7- 10 more minutes.

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while the stuffed squash are in the oven, prepare the avocado sauce. in the blender combine avocado, lime, cilantro, water and remaining salt. blend until smooth.

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remove squash from the oven and let rest for a few minutes.

for plating add 2 T of avocado sauce to the center of the plate. place the stuffed squash in the middle of the sauce or on the side and top the squash off with its lid. serve immediately.

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try using the remaining rice and bean mixture stuffed in taco shells, tortillas or in other vegetables.

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carrot ginger soup

an easy and simple soup that can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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ingredients:

1 large onion

3 bunches of carrots

3 inch knob of ginger

1 T coconut oil

1 t salt

3.5 c water

¼ sliced almonds (optional, garnish)

4 fresh mint leaves (optional, garnish)

tools:

medium size pot with lid. cutting board. sharp knife. vegetable peeler. blender or stick blender. rubber heat proof spatula. microplane. measuring spoons and cups. soup spoon. wooden spoon.

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cut onion into medium dice. set aside. trim greens from carrots.

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wash and peel carrots. thinly slice carrots. set aside.

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using a spoon, scrape the skin of the ginger. microplane the ginger to make 3 T. set aside.

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in a medium size pot, heat oil over medium-low. add onions. cook onions slowly for 5 minutes. stir occasionally. try to avoid browning the onions too much. if too much browning occurs, turn down the heat.

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add ginger to onions and cook another minute. add carrots, salt, and water. cover the pot with a lid. bring liquid up to a boil and turn down to low. cook carrots until tender, about 14 minutes total. once carrots are fully cooked turn off heat.

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for this next step, i highly recommend using a stick blender for hot liquids. if using a regular blender, allow soup to cool for 20 minutes before blending.

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blend soup until very smooth. stop the blender once or twice to scrape down the sides. ready to serve. 

 

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wash mint and slice thinly. garnish soup with mint and almonds. soup recipe can be doubled  and stored in the freezer for later use.