Friday, 26 September 2014

"Cheesy" Broccoli-Stuffed Harlequin Squash

When I went to Lidl the other day, this little beauty was staring at me from the "seasonal squash" basket. It was so pretty and only £1 - I couldn't resist! I did a bit of Googling and it turns out that this is a Harlequin squash. I decided I was going to stuff it, as it was such a cute shape and would be the perfect serving size for two once cut in half and stuffed.

Originally, I wanted to stuff it with vegan mac 'n' cheese. There has been so much mac 'n' cheese love around during this year's MoFo, and I wanted in on the action. However, there was nowhere that I pass on the way home that would sell macaroni. So instead I opted for a "cheesy" broccoli stuffing as we had all the ingredients in already - like cauliflower cheese but with broccoli instead.

This was pretty easy to throw together, and tasted great. Obviously not as good as it would have been with mac 'n' cheese but I'd say this was a pretty good substitute.

"Cheesy" Broccoli-Stuffed Harlequin Squash

1 Harlequin squash (you can use a different squash but you may have to adjust your cooking time)
1 small head of broccoli
1/2 pint soya milk
2 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
liquid aminos spray or 1/8 tsp soy sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 200C and make two foil boats (see photo below). This will make it easier to clean up if any of the filling spills out during cooking.

2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds (reserving them for later) and place in the foil boats. Set aside while the oven heats up.

3. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes until bright green. Drain and rinse in cold water.

4. Once the oven has heated to the correct temperature, pop the squash halves on a baking tray and put in the oven for 15 min. Prepare the filling while the squash cooks.

5. In a small saucepan, whisk together the soya milk, flour and nutritional yeast. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Continue to cook over a low heat until all the ingredients have combined and the mixture looks nice and thick. Stir in the broccoli.

6. Make another foil boat for your squash seeds. Get rid of any remaining squash flesh and spread the seeds out on the foil in a single layer.

7. By now your 15 minutes cooking time for the squash should be up. Carefully spoon the broccoli mixture into the holes in the squash. You can let the mixture spill out onto the top of the squash as well but be careful not to overfill it too much or all your filling will end up on the baking tray!

8. Put the stuffed squash back into the oven, along with the seeds, and cook for another 20 minutes - or until the squash feels tender when pressed and the filling has started to brown.

9. Remove the squash and the seeds from the oven. Mix the seeds with a couple of sprays of liquid aminos (or a tiny amount of soya sauce) and seasoning of your choice (I used Nando's chip salt). Dish up your squash and sprinkle with the cooked seeds - they should be crunchy.

We had our stuffed squash surrounded by a bed of roast potatoes but it would also be great alongside a salad or some crisp stir-fried vegetables. (You can see the fork mark on the squash where I tested for done-ness...)

In other news, one of our cats (the biggest) has been testing new beds:

Bed no. 1

Bed no. 2