CHILI-STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

 

2 acorn squash

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 tablespoons apple cider 

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1-1/4 cup)

2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (about 4 tablespoons)

1 cup vegetable broth

1/3 cup bulgar, rinsed 

1 jar (25 ounces) Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese

1 can (15 ounces) black beans or kidney beans, lightly rinsed and drained

1 Tablespoon chili powder

½ teaspoon Garam Masala 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Chopped cilantro or parsley, optional

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

2.) Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut one thin slice off the bottom of each half so that it sits flat. Place the halves in a large baking dish, flesh side up. Place one tablespoon apple cider into each squash half, sprinkle squash flesh with salt and pepper to taste, and roast about 40 to 45 minutes or until fork tender. 

3.) As the squash roasts, add the onion, peppers, bulgar, and vegetable broth to a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes. 

4.) Stir in the chili powder, the Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese, and the black beans or kidney beans. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer over very low heat about 10 minutes more. Stir in the Garam Masala and cook about 2 minutes more or until the flavors are well blended. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, as desired. 

5.) Spoon the chili into the warm squash halves, dividing it equally. Sprinkle with the parsley or cilantro and serve warm. 

Serves 4 as a main dish. 

Note: To turn this into a side dish serving for 6; just slice and bake 3 acorn squash, filling each half with the vegetable chili. 

Natalie Garg
STUFFED PEPPERS RECIPE AND VIDEO
 

We made our sauce thicker than other pasta sauces by adding 6 fresh shredded vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, and chopped walnuts. use it to stuff a pepper or fill an omelet.


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup canned chick peas, rinsed                                                                                       and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or ¾ cup shredded                                                           mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water (or enough to cover                                                                                  bottom of baking dish)
  • 4 large bell peppers (preferable red, yellow or orange)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1-1/3 cups Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese
  • 1-1/3 cups cooked farro or brown rice

 


DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

 

2.  Cut a thin slice from the stem end of each pepper to remove its top. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse and, if desired, sprinkle the inside of each pepper lightly with salt and pepper. Set peppers aside, reserving tops.

 

3.  Combine the Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese, farro or brown rice, chick peas, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Stuff peppers with the mixture, and, if using cheese, sprinkle onto the filled peppers, dividing evenly. 

 

4.  Cover each pepper with its top, and stand peppers upright in an ungreased medium baking dish. Pour water into the dish to just cover the bottom and cover the top of the dish with foil.

 

5.  Bake in center of oven, 45 to 50 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and easily pierced with a sharp knife.

 

SERVES 4

 

Recipe variations: This same stuffing makes a delicious filling for scooped out shells of zucchini, yellow squash or even eggplant. You can substitute any kind of cooked white rice, grain, or quinoa for the farro or brown rice.

Natalie Garg
OMELET EXTRAORDINAIRE
 
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Want to eat some healthy veggies with your next omelet? Spread a few tablespoons of our Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese over the egg layer as it cooks in the pan. Yummy!


INGREDIENTS

  • Pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsle
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1.  Beat together the eggs, water, cheese, (if using) salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl until well blended.

 

2.  Heat the butter or oil in a small non-stick omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat, tilting the pan to coat the bottom.

 

3.  Pour the egg mixture into the pan; it will start to set immediately.

 

4.  In 1 to 2 minutes, when the top surface of the eggs is thickened, spoon the Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese onto one side of the omelet; sprinkle the parsley over the sauce.

 

5.  Using a broad metal spatula, fold the omelet in half over the filling. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook about 1 minute more or until the filling is warm and the egg is fully set.

 

6.  Slide the omelet onto a plate and serve immediately.

 

SERVES 1

Natalie Garg
BAKED PENNE WITH VEGETABLE BOLOGNESE, MOZZARELLA, AND EGGPLANT
 
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Every once in a while, we feel it’s permissible, as in the recipe below, to break a few of our rules and assemble a dish like this macaroni casserole. This one is guaranteed to please even the fussiest of eaters and sneaks in the six different healthy vegetables in our sauce along with some wonderful eggplant. It’s a great family dish and perfect for a barbecue when you’re feeding a crowd. You can assemble the dish a day or hours in advance and bake it about an hour before serving.


ingredients

  • 10-12 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut                                                            into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 jar (25 ounces) Fresh’nFree Vegetable                                                              Bolognese
  • 1 eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetable oil for browning eggplant (optional)

  • 1 pound penne


DIRECTIONS

Brown the Eggplant

1.  Trim off ends of the eggplant and peel it. Slice into ½-inch thick slices.

 

2.  Set a colander in the kitchen sink or in a large bowl. Stand one layer of eggplant slices upright against the inside of the colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Stand another layer of slices against the first layer and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Continue until all the slices are salted. Let stand for 30 minutes.

 

3.  Blot the eggplant dry with paper towels.

 

4.  Add enough oil to a large frying pan to come up about ½ inch deep on the sides of the pan. (To avoid using oil, see recipe note below.*)

 

5.  Heat the oil over high heat until it starts to shimmer. Using tongs, carefully dip one slice of eggplant into the oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready for browning.

 

6.  Transfer as many slices of eggplant into the pan as will fit in a single layer. Cook until golden brown on one side; turn and cook the second side.

 

7.  Using a wide metal spatula, remove slices from the pan to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Adjust heat or add more oil to the pan, if necessary to brown eggplant without burning it.

 

8.  When all the eggplant has been browned and drained, cut it into 1 to 2 -inch pieces.

 

Assemble and Bake the Casserole

1.  Preheat your oven broiler, with a rack about 8 inches from the broiler unit.

 

2.  Cook the penne according to package directions or until al dente (“firm with a little bite”).  While the pasta is cooking, warm the Fresh’nFree Vegetable Bolognese in a medium saucepan, covered, over medium-low heat.  Just before the pasta is cooked, remove about 1/3 cup of the frothy, starchy water from the boiling pasta and stir it into the sauce.

 

3.  Drain the pasta and turn it into a 3-quart oven-proof casserole fitted with a lid. Stir in the Vegan Bolognese sauce, then the eggplant, if using, and finally the cubes of mozzarella.

 

4.  Place the casserole on the oven rack, and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until the broiler heat starts to melt the cheese.  

 

5.  Remove the casserole from the oven and cover it.

 

6.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Carefully reposition the rack in the lower third of the oven. Place the covered casserole on the lowered rack and bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dish is warmed through and the cheese melted.

 

Serves 6

Recipe notes: While the eggplant is a tasty addition, it’s not essential. If you’re pressed for time, or not an eggplant lover, leave it out and skip right to directions for “Assembling and Baking the Casserole.” 

*Alternatively, to eliminate most of the oil, you can roast the eggplant slices on a lightly oiled large baking sheet in a 400-degree oven about 25 minutes or until they are soft and lightly browned.


Natalie Garg