On a day like today, halfway between winter and spring, you might be craving something warm or something fresh, or something that’s a little bit of both.  In the last case, Chilean Squash Casserole fits the bill.  It’s hearty and warm, but the crunch of peppers and the addition of corn make this dish a great transition meal.  It is also both vegan (if you leave off the cheddar topping) and gluten-free.

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This recipe was originally found in Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, as a variation on their Arabian Squash Casserole.  I have made a few adjustments of my own.

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Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups cooked squash or pumpkin, mashed or puréed
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 large red bell pepper (or two small, different colored ones), chopped
  6. 4 or 5 medium cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  9. 2 cups corn (frozen/defrosted = OK)
  10. black pepper and cayenne, to taste
  11. 1 cup grated cheddar

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Steam squash until very soft.
  3. While squash is cooking chop other ingredients.
  4. Place the cooked squash in a large bowl and mash.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet.  Add onion, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add salt, cumin, chili powder, corn and bell peppers and sauté about 5 more minutes, or until the peppers begin to get soft.
  7. Add garlic, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and sauté for a few more minutes.
  8. Add the sauté to the squash and mix well.
  9. Spread into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan or oven-safe bowl of a similar size.
  10. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheddar.  (Naturally you will skip this step for a vegan recipe.)
  11. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly.

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You can prepare the casserole in advance and wait to put it in the oven about a half an hour before you plan to eat.  The Moosewood Cookbook, the source of the original recipe, is a great resource for many healthy vegetarian recipes.

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Enjoy!

- Laura Hess ‘16