What will the holidays do to your appetite? Let's consider the calories, shall we? That tin of holiday cookies in the office whispers to you: "Pssst! Hey! Yes, you with the coffee. Wouldn't you like a few buttery cookies to start your day?" Then come the cakes, the holiday parties, and the next thing you know, you've eaten heaven-knows-what dripping in chocolate sauce. Wouldn't you feel good if you could slow down the calorie count with a nice bowl of vegetable stew, say, at least once a week during the holidays? Don't think of it as a diet--fresh vegetables are their own reward. Besides, you'll feel good about yourself. Whether you're vegetarian, pescetarian, or an omnivore, you're not immune to the seductiveness of sweet and savory holiday cuisine.
|Delicata Squash (iStock Photo)|
So let's make a pact, you and I. Veggie stew or veggie soup for lunch or dinner once or twice a week during the holidays--with or without the pasta. What do you say?
Recipe: Delicata Squash Stew with Pasta (Serves 4)
1 1/2 pounds (1 small to medium) delicata squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
1 32-ounce carton low-sodium vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can unsalted, diced tomatoes
1/2 cup baby carrots
1 3/4 cup kidney beans, cooked and unseasoned (or one 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup Rombi pasta, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 sprig dill, chopped (and more for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and brush both halves with olive oil.
- Bake squash halves on cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes until almost done.
- After 15 minutes, pierce each squash half with a fork. The squash should feel slightly underdone but not hard. It will continue cooking in the stew. If squash cannot be pierced with a fork without a struggle, continue cooking for 5-15 minutes--checking the squash by piercing it every five minutes.
- Remove squash from oven and set aside until it's cool enough to handle.
- In a soup pot, saute onions, garlic, and celery until translucent.
- Add the carton of broth, carrots, and beans.
- Cut squash into cubes by slicing lengthwise then crosswise inside each squash half. Scrap each squash half with a spoon and allow the cut squash to fall into a medium bowl.
- Add squash to soup and add uncooked pasta.
- Simmer stew until pasta is al dente, adding 1/2 cup of water if stew becomes too thick.
- Season with chopped dill, salt, and cracked pepper to taste.