“Can you do anything with this?” Ryan’s mom asked me, holding up a partially cut acorn squash, “I’m tired of dealing with it and I think we have enough for dinner.”
I love bringing home left overs from our parents homes and seeing what meals I can create from them, but I especially love bringing home fresh vegetables and fruits! One of my favorite meals growing up was your standard white potato, cheddar cheese au gratin. Although this meal can easily be made gluten free and vegetarian, it is not very high on the nutrient scale.
I try to cook dairy free for Ryan, so I challenged myself by making this typically cheesy, creamy nightmare, dairy-free. And, you know me. I had to add protein somewhere, so I used silken tofu as the base of my “cream” for the “cheese” sauce. You won’t see any photo of it though, because it’s not very pretty.
Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Au Gratin
Recommended kitchen gear:
1 acorn squash
2 large sweet potatoes
2 slices Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, Whole grain (or any gluten free bread)
for the sauce:
1 container silken tofu
1 cup milk substitute (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, because that was in the fridge!)
1 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil for bread
- Preheat oven to 375º
- Peel squash & scoop seeds out of center. Side seeds aside in small colander. Slice squash into 1/3 inch slices, maintaining consistent size slices as much as possible.
- Rinse and brush visible dirt off sweet potatoes. Slice into 1/3 inch rounds, maintaining consistent size slices as much as possible.
- Arrange squash & sweet potato in a 9×9 casserole dish so that the baking dish is evening covered.
- Pierce the tofu container and drain any liquid.
- Put tofu, thyme, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, garlic, thyme, and milk substitute in blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour your tofu mixture over your squash.
- Place your dish in the center of the oven and lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top, do not fold it over the sides. You want steam to be able to escape.
- Lightly spray your bread with olive oil (I use this Misto) to ensure that it gets crispy, and slice it into small cubes. Set aside.
- Bake for 30 minutes with foil tent, then remove from oven and sprinkle with your topping. Bake for another 15 minutes without the foil.
tip: after 30 minutes, pierce a piece of squash & a piece of sweet potato with a fork. It should be soft. If it’s not soft, put it back in for another 10-15 minutes before adding the bread crumb topping. Depending on how ripe your vegetables are, it can lengthen the cooking process.
Now about those seeds that we left hanging out in our colander…