Saturday, March 29, 2008

Butternut Bounty Contest - the Round-Up

Let me start by apologizing for making you wait for so long for this round-up. Since you are probably not interested in hearing all my excuses about stress and work and so on let's get straight down to the purpose of this post:

When I first asked people for their favorite way to prepare butternut squash the majority advised me to just roast it. Apparently the simple things in live are sometimes the best! But then I did get some real recipes and therefore I am excited to present to you a proper round-up of this very first Bounty Contest:

"Butternut Squash. Who doesn't love this veg? It is dynamite in flavour and its versatility is much appreciated by this little vegan", writes VeganCowGirl and submitted two recipes that make me drool when I read them:

Sweet Squash Puff Packets: squash, apples, and sweet potatoes wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden and flakey. I must admit that I find the combination of squash with apples intriguing and puff pastry is absolutely irressistible anyways. VeganCowGirl writes she had never worked with puff pastry before, so it was an exercise in discovery-cooking. Judging from the photos it was a successful experiment!

Next up are her Squash Sushi. Sushi, well, of course. Vinegared rice, tasty crunchy nori and tender squash - that must be one divine combo. I love sushi and was glad to discover that vegans can still enjoy it, with veggies. I had never thought of making it with butternut so this is a great idea.

Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking and other Random Musings sent me an email with her favorite ways to prepare butternut: "I tend to go a different way with things than most people. My favorite way to have butternut squash is in Mexican food." She submitted a recipe for "Spicy anasazi bean and quinoa stuffed roasted acorn squash". Quinoa is one of my recent favorite discoveries and the spices she uses do sound enticing.

The second recipe she suggested was "Vegan veggie enchiladas". Another great idea, and so simple when I think about it. Enchiladas rock! I must try them with butternut squash. Do contact Jennifer and request the recipes - they sound amazingly delicious!

And lastely Stonie of Dr. Stonielove's Bewildered Beast provided proof that, yes, it is possible to make squash gnocchi that do not fall apart when cooking. She submitted a mouthwatering recipe for Butternut squash gnocchi - with chili pepper for extra pizzazz - and an even more mouthwatering photo. Man, Stonie, you are a genius - photo and cooking-wise.

So, a total of five recipes that make me want to start cooking right away. Five recipes, each different and creative, each sounds delicious. I should not have labelled this a contest because now I have to single one out and proclaim it the winner. Believe me, this is hard and all of you are my winners.

So (drum-roll) after some deliberation with the co-host (my husband) we decided that the crown in this Bounty Contest goes to (more drum-roll) VeganCowGirl for the Sweet Squash Puff Packets. I had promised you a surprise prize but I didn't specify one before since I wanted to tailor it a bit to the winner. Since Vegan Cow Girl lives practically around the corner (Belgium) I decided that my favorite vegan fair-trade, 70%-cocoa chocolate is going to survive the trip across the border. Congratulations to VeganCowGirl and thank you to all of you for participating and making the bounty on our table even more delicious thanks to your great recipes.

Edit: O blush, o shame... There was another entry I just discovered, in the comments section of the original post. Vinelady of Cooking Aboard submitted this amazing, mouthwatering Thai Squash Soup, a soup she cooked aboard a sailboat! A beautiful dish with my favorite Thai flavors: coconut milk, curry paste, and lemon grass. I love Thai food so this competition might have taken a totally different direction had I not missed this great entry. Go and check out this great soup. I deeply apologize to Vinelady for not including her. I feel so bad I'm giving out another prize which Vinelady totally deserves: more of my favorite vegan, organic, fair-trade, 70%-cocoa chocolate. Congrats!


BitterSweet said...

What great ideas! Congrats to Vegan Cow Girl, it seems like it was a close race. :)

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Great, now I'm craving butternut squash :-)

Jennifer said...

I would hate having to choose!

I saw Vegan Cow Girl's butternut creations and will definitely have to try them! She deserves it, such creativity! Especially the packets, mmmmmmmm.

missblueberry said...

Thank you Anke! and partner in deliberation.

I feel honoured to be in contention with such awesome cooks.

I am going to give Stonie's pasta a try. It looks amazing.

Thanks for running the contest Anke. It really pushed me to think about squash.

Happy Herbivore! said...

oooh... yummm

Vinelady said...

Thanks. I hope that you like the soup. I am glad that you hosted the challenge, next time I will post in the right area. opps.

Vaishali said...

Anke, This is such a great roundup, and all recipes sound delicious. I really wanted to send an entry and even bought a butternut squash last week, but then things got crazy because of recurring illnesses among two of my dogs that required several trips to the vet and lots of missed work. I can't wait for your next roundup, though!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I think the real winners here are the readers, because now we have some amazing squash recipes to try!
But congrats to Vegan Cowgirl!

KathyF said...

I have a butternut squash that's been taking up room on my countertop for far too long.

I am going to turn it into that soup. It sounds delicious, and if you can make it on a boat it should be even easier in my kitchen!