Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Squash-Stuffed Cannelloni with Roasted-Shallot Sauce and Hazelnuts

There are several components to this vegan entree, making it a little complicated, but the end result is so worth it! I highly recommend preparing this while some classical holiday music plays in the background.

The first component is the filling:

Cut 5 cups worth of 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash (about 2 pounds total). Combine the squash with 2 tablespoons chopped shallots and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), and toss to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once out of the oven, place the squash mixture in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add 1/4 cup vegan sour cream (such as Tofutti's Better Than Sour Cream), 2 tablespoons plain soy creamer (such as Silk), 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper, stirring to combine. Set aside.

The second component is the sauce:

Coat either an oven-proof Dutch oven or an oven-proof skillet with cooking spray (I used the latter, since I don't own the former). Add 2 slices of vegan bacon (such as Light Life) and cook over medium-high heat until crisp - about 4 minutes, which is slightly longer than package directions. Remove the 'bacon' from the pan, chop and set aside. To the pan, add 1/4 pound halved and peeled shallots and 1 crushed garlic clove. Saute for 5 minutes.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return to the stovetop over medium-high heat, and add 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used an organic Petit Chablis), scraping to remove any browned bits from the pan. Add 7 ounces vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon soy creamer, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Set aside.

The final component is putting it all together:

Cook 8 lasagna noodles according to package directions (ideally while the shallot sauce is roasting in the oven). I used the lasagna from Whole Foods' 365 brand. Arrange the noodles flat on a work surface. Spread a heaping 1/4 cup of the butternut squash mixture over each lasagna noodle, leaving about a 1/2-inch border at the short end. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, and place the noodles seam-side down in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour the shallot sauce over the noodles.

Sprinkle the top with 6 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese in place of Fontina (such as the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), then bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped 'bacon' and 2 tablespoons chopped and blanched hazelnuts. To blanch hazelnuts, place on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes, then let stand for 15 mintues before rubbing off the skins with a dish towel or paper towel. I made two mistakes here: a) I thought that I was supposed to add the 'bacon' and hazelnuts at the same time as the 'cheese', so they were in the oven for that whole 25 minute period! b) because I thought I had to have the hazelnuts ready so early, I ran out of time to blanch them! I tried a quick method I found on the internet, of pouring boiling water over the nuts, letting them stand for 1 minute, then draining and rubbing off the skins, but this didn't work one whit. So my hazelnuts went un-blanched.

My mistakes aside, this meal came out delicious! 2 rolled up cannelloni are a serving of 350 calories.

butternut squash $6.64
shallots $3.99
sage $2.49
vegan bacon $3.39
vegan cheese $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance