Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin

 

Version 2Now that Halloween has passed, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

Most of us dig into Thanksgiving classics once a year, which means that when the holiday rolls around, expectations are high.  That’s why we rigorously tested and strategically streamlined our recipes for all the traditional (and not-so-traditional), crowd-pleasing favorites.

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I’m confident that vegans and non-vegans alike will love our Thanksgiving menu–from the best candied sweet potatoes you ever tasted, to butternut squash mac and cheese, to traditional stuffing and super-creamy pumpkin pie.  We know how to do it right.

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Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

One of my favorite dishes in my pre-vegan days was Suzanne Goin’s kabocha squash gratin.  I thought it would be perfect for Thanksgiving, so I veganized it, and to my delight, it was delicious!  There’s a bit of sweetness from the squash, creaminess from the cashews, and a nice kick of spice from the rajas.  I hope you try this recipe and love it!

Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin

Prep Time: 1 day

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

Soft Cashew Cheese 

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp agar agar

2 tbsp filtered water

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

 

Cashew Cream

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

½ cup of filtered water

 

Fire Roasted Chilies for Rajas

2 poblano or pasilla chiles, charred, peeled, deseeded, and cut into strips

 

Roasted Kabocha Squash

1 medium kabocha squash, peeled (optional), sliced 1/4″ thick

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp thyme, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Rajas

1 1/2 onion, sliced

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup cashew cream

poblano pepper strips

Directions

Make Soft Cashew Cheese 

1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches of filtered water to soak overnight.

2. Drain the liquid, rinse under cold water and drain again.

3. In the blender, combine and pulverize the cashews, agar, lemon juice, sea salt and 2 tbsp filtered water. Blend until creamy, taking breaks to scrape the sides of the blender with a silicone spatula to ensure everything gets creamed smooth.  When creamy, pour into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

 

Make Cashew Cream

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, add filtered water 1 tablespoon at a time. We want this to be the same consistency as cream, so adjust accordingly.

Fire-roast Poblano Chiles
Peel the chiles as shown in the video link
Roast Kabocha Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the kabocha squash into 1/4″ pieces. On a sheet tray, add the oil, sea salt, pepper, thyme, and squash.  Toss together, then place in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping the pieces half way through.
Make Rajas
Heat a saute pan, add oil, then the onions, sea salt, pepper, oregano.  If the onions start sticking to the pan, add some filtered water to help cook and deglaze the pan.  Once the onions look translucent, add the poblano chile strips.  Saute for about 3-5 minutes, then add cashew cream.
Assemble
Use an 8″x7″ or 8″x8″ deep casserole dish, and one layer of roasted kabocha squash.  On top of that, add one layer of rajas, one layer of crumbled cheese, then pour the cashew cream to cover.  Repeat until you run out of ingredients.  I usually finish off with the layer of kombucha squash.  Also, remember to make this super creamy by pouring on a lot of cream.
Bake in a preheated 350 F degree for about 25 minutes or until it has bubbled for 15 minutes.

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