Orange Food: Spicy Butternut Squash Risotto & Pumpkin Scones

Tis the season for orange food. Pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato flamboyantly make their yearly debut.  This started, of course, back in September, or whenever Starbucks started selling their pumpkin spice latte again.  I’m just a little late in the game.  In fact, I’ve barely been in the game when it comes to cooking.  My relationship with food has been attacked by the over-stimulation of diverse choices, inconsistent lifestyle resolutions, and a semi-nomadic profession.  I’ve been cooking less and eating out more.  I don’t eat meat, again.  I’ve been in and out of Chicago for weeks and weeks. I won’t say again that I’m re-committing to cooking more and writing about it because I always am.

In spite of all that, the past week has been a good week and one with the orange food.  Last Saturday morning, I baked–something I hadn’t done and a while and realized that I missed it (in addition to missing a normal sized stove that can fit a standard baking sheet.)  I made vegan pumpkin scones with a chai buttercream frosting.

Vegan Pumpkin Scones

I just played with this recipe, adding some cinnamon and nutmeg.  All I had was gluten-free flour, so I think that made them a bit softer but they turned out all right.  I’d like to try them with regular flour again, or a different basic vegan scone recipe. (Ideas?)  For the chai buttercream I just used a basic vegan buttercream frosting recipe and added chai powder that I got a while ago from the spice shop down the street.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Today, because I was too lazy to brave the dark cold to go grocery shopping, I dug some pureed butternut squash out of the freezer and made a spicy butternut squash risotto.  I just used brown rice since I didn’t have arborio rice.  In fact, you could probably call it more of a savory rice pudding.

Spicy Butternut Squash Risotto

I’ll have to add the recipe later because I just iron-cheffed it from what I had so I don’t have exact measurements.  I essentially just made a basic risotto and stirred in the pureed butternut squash at the end with chili powder, cinnamon, pepper, a little bit of agave nectar then topped with crushed red pepper and pumpkin seeds.  It was a comforting delight eaten next to my radiator in my pjs. Winter hermit bliss.

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