Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Fresh fall produce is my favorite of all seasonal food. It’s hearty and comforting, and we’re all about comfort food here at The More You Dough. While I’ve spent plenty of time already this fall tinkering in the kitchen creating some great pumpkin recipes today is all about pumpkin’s underrated cousin, the butternut squash. Butternut squash has a delicate, sweet squash flavor similar to pumpkin, but is much easier to break down if you’re making from scratch cooking.

There’s something really special and meditative about from scratch cooking that I really appreciate. I like knowing that I hand crafted just about every component of the meal. You won’t find me milling my own flour in the kitchen, or anything like that, but I do cook from scratch quite often. I like using fresh produce as much as I can while it’s in season as opposed to something that comes out of a can I can buy any time of the year. You can too for this recipe, but you’re by no means obligated to. I bought a whole butternut squash, butchered it, boiled it, cooled it, and pureed it. This sounds intensive, but it really doesn’t take all that long. It also makes plenty of puree to save for later in other great fall recipes like our butternut squash pizza that we’ll be sharing a recipe for soon. If that sounds like a bit too much work for you try checking your supermarket for butternut squash puree. Most stores seem to carry it in the baby food aisle.

When I think of hearty dishes it doesn’t get much heartier than gnocchi. Gnocchi is one of the best pastas to make from scratch if you’re just starting to learn, because it’s super easy to make. All you have to do is knead some dough, roll it out, chop it up, and boil it for a few minutes. You can serve your gnocchi as just pillowy little chunks of dough, or add the classic grooves to the dough. Adding the grooves can be a little tricky at first, but I recommend it. They trap a lot of great flavor from the sauce. To see how to make them check out the video below.

We pan seared our gnocchi with some Field Roast vegan sausage to give it an extra flavor, and textural element. Searing it is my preferred method of preparation, but it’s not absolutely necessary as the gnocchi are perfectly ready to eat once you boil them. This gnocchi goes great paired with the white wine cream sauce we included in the recipe. You can use whatever sauce you’d like for the pasta. A lighter colored sauce seems to lend better to this dish as it allows the flavor of the squash to shine instead of competing with it like a red sauce would.


Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • one pinch all spice
  • one pinch nutmeg
  • one pinch black pepper

White Wine Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

Gnocchi Directions

  1. Break down the butternut squash. Start by peeling it, cut off the ends, slice it in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut it into chunks that are similar in size so they cook evenly.
  2. Boil the butternut squash for 25 minutes or until it is fork tender. Prepare an ice bath in a large mixing bowl, and place cooked squash in this to cool and halt the cooking process. Drain when cooled.
  3. Place cooled squash in the food processor, and blend into a puree. If you purchased squash puree you can skip steps 1-3.
  4. Measure out one cup of the squash puree and place it in a large mixing bowl. Package up the rest of your squash puree to use for future recipes. I put mine in the freezer.
  5. Add in the all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir together to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.
  6. Slowly start adding the flour chopping it in with a spoon. Depending on the moisture content of the squash puree you may use a little less or a little more than 2 1/2 cups of flour. Stir until it forms a shaggy dough.
  7. Continue to slowly add flour, and knead with your hands until the dough stops feeling gummy and sticky. It should bounce back nicely if you poke it.
  8. Separate the dough into manageable pieces, I separated mine into fourths, and roll them out into long tubes on a floured surface. I like to think this step is pretty similar to making play-doh snakes as a kid. Your snakes should be about 1″-1 1/2″ in diameter. It can be difficult at first, but try to keep them as consistent as possible.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut the tubes of dough into small pieces. They should look like little tiny gnocchi pillows that are about 1″-1 1/2″ wide.
  10. You can stop here, or you can add grooves into your gnocchi. I prefer the grooves, because they hold more of the sauce on the pasta. To do this, find a fork and turn it tines down on a plate. Make sure the fork, work surface, and gnocchi are all well floured. Press the end of a gnocchi down against the base of the tines with your thumb, and flick it down the length of the tines. This can be pretty tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few (or if your me a few dozen) gnocchi. I made a short video showing the technique in this post.
  11. Boil your gnocchi for 2-4 minutes. Make sure the pot is really at a rolling boil when you put the gnocchi in. They’ll bring the water temperature down a lot, so you want to ensure that they still cook quickly and evenly throughout. You can boil half of them at a time to avoid a drastic temperature change. They should float when they’re done. If they’re floating before your timer goes off remove them.
  12. Immediately place the boiled gnocchi in an ice bath, or under cold running water to halt the cooking process. I use an ice bath to do this. The quicker the better. Nobody wants mushy pasta especially when you spent so much time preparing it.
  13. While you can eat gnocchi without searing them, I always choose to pan fry them. It imparts a great flavor on them, and allows you to cook up your favorite vegetables in the same pan. I recommend broccoli, or brussels sprouts. We cooked ours up with some field roast vegan sausage, because we didn’t have a lot of veggies in the fridge at the time. Keep some white wine on hand to deglaze the pan while you sear them. If you don’t deglaze they’ll get stuck to the pan and tear. They only take about five minutes to fry up, so wait until your sauce starts reducing to put them on.

White Wine Cream Sauce Directions

  1. Measure out all of the ingredients before hand. You have to work quickly to keep the roux from burning and the cream from separating, so you want to be able to instantaneously add whatever you need.
  2. In a sauce pot on low heat add the 1/4 cup vegan butter.
  3. Add in the minced shallot and garlic, and the red chili flakes once the butter melts down.
  4. Allow the butter to darken in color, and quickly whisk in the flour.
  5. Keep whisking and quickly add the oat milk, followed by the white whine and splash of lemon juice.
  6. Add all other seasonings.
  7. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce down. Whisk frequently to prevent burning.
  8. Sauce should be a creamy texture that flows freely, but is thick enough to stick to your pasta. Remove from heat when finished.
  9. You can add some of the sauce to the gnocchi while they’re finishing cooking to impart more flavor. This is optional.
  10. Serve on a plate or in a bowl, and finish with fresh herbs if you’d like.

Barbecue Seitan Pizza

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. I love watching the leaves change, going to pick apples, having bonfires, and all of the other stereotypical fall activities. Probably the best thing about fall is getting back into making, and eating, some of my favorite comfort foods that seem too heavy during the hot summer months. While Covid is preventing us from doing a lot of fall activities this year like going to fall festivals, or Halloween parties, we’ve already started creating some great fall dishes to share with all of our readers.

Pizza is one of my all time favorite foods, and quite easy to make vegan. It includes only a few ingredients, and it’s easy to personalize. Nick and I often make BBQ cauliflower or BBQ seitan pizzas that are reminiscent of BBQ chicken pizza. We make our dough from scratch, but you can usually find fresh pizza dough at a super market near you. If you decide to buy your dough instead of making it be sure to check the ingredient list for dairy. If you don’t feel up to the task of making our recipe for pizza dough from scratch we recommend the pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.


Barbecue Seitan Pizza

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz Upton’s Traditional Seitan
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro chopped
  • 3/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegan “mozarella style” cheese

Directions

  1. Break seitan into chunks. If any of the chunks seem too large cut them into smaller pieces, and then place them in a mixing bowl. Add Worcestershire sauce, and about 1/4 cup of your chosen BBQ sauce. Coat all of the seitan chunks.
  2. Use the rest of the BBQ sauce to coat the pizza crust. You can use a basting brush to spread the sauce out more evenly.
  3. Cut the onion into whatever size pieces you prefer, and chop parsley or cilantro.
  4. Top crust with a thin layer of cheese, and then add the onion and Seitan chunks. Do not add the parsley or cilantro yet.
  5. Add the rest of the vegan cheese on top of the pizza.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. If you purchased a crust from the supermarket go by the cook time and temp on the package. Add the parsley or cilantro onto the pizza at this point. You can also top with more BBQ sauce as decoration. Place the pizza back in the oven for a minute or two to wilt the greens just a little.
  7. Slice and serve. BBQ Seitan pizza goes great with a vegan ranch dipping sauce.

Mongolian BBQ Inspired Seitan Kabobs

The weather has been rapidly cooling down the past month in Pennsylvania. As we get ready for fall temperatures we’ve been trying to seize as many grilling opportunities as we can. I love Mongolian BBQ, but unfortunately I haven’t found any restaurants around Pittsburgh that do a vegan version of it. I was particularly craving the flavors, so I crafted a great marinade for these Mongolian BBQ inspired seitan kabobs. If you don’t have a grill you can use this recipe to marinate your seitan and veggies, and cook them up in a skillet or a wok. They’re delicious either way, but grilling allows you to impart a nice charred flavor.

Mongolian BBQ Inspired Seitan Kabobs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Feel free to use additional veggies on your kabobs. These are the ones we found at the local farmers market, but bell peppers, hot peppers, and other squash are all good options for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz Uptons Seitan
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp chili garlic paste
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Directions

  1. Cube seitan into large chunks. Keep in mind they’ll need to be sturdy enough to be skewered. Place into a large bag or reusable container.
  2. Cut mushrooms in half. Place into the same bag or container you placed the seitan.
  3. Cut down zucchini into disks that are about an inch wide. Cut each disk in half. Place halved disks into the same container as the other ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all of the other ingredients. Whisk together well, and then cover seitan, mushrooms, and zucchini with the marinade.
  5. Marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
  6. Remove seitan, zucchini, and mushrooms from the marinade, and place them on skewers. Save the remaining marinade in a heat resistant bowl to brush onto the kabobs later.
  7. Grill on a hot grill until the ingredients are completely heated through and have nice char lines on each side. This should take between 5-15 minutes depending on the heat of your grill. Brush the kabobs with the marinade periodically as they cook, so that they do not dry out.
  8. Serve with a side of brown rice, or other grain of your choice.

Vegan Brownies

I know we recently made a brownie post for our refined sugar free Black Bean Brownies, but I like to have options when it comes to dessert. You really can’t taste the black beans in black bean brownies, but I can see why it might be an intimidating hurdle for a picky eater. This recipe is bean free, but just as tasty. These brownies get a nice crispy exterior that makes them perfect for decorating, or serving plain. I decorated mine using my recipe for The Best Vegan Buttercream. You can flavor your buttercream by adding in things like caramel, or chocolate. If it starts to get to thin compensate by adding a bit more powdered sugar.

It took me two tries to get this recipe perfect. The first time I tried to cut corners by using a mixer. I incorporated too much air, and that caused the butter to separate when baking. Mixing them with a spoon is an absolute must. I ended up throwing the first batch I made in the trash, because they were completely inedible. They were a thin, crunchy sheet coated in oil that ended up tasting like burnt popcorn. It really stresses me out to throw food away. If I think there’s any chance I can save something and make it palatable, even if it’s not quite what I wanted, I absolutely will. That should tell you how bad this first brownie experiment went. I learned from my mistakes, and did some in depth brownie research. I adjusted my ingredient ratios, mixing technique, and cooking temperature. The second batch turned out wonderful.

This recipe was based on a recipe my mom would make for our family. It wasn’t an old family recipe, just a recipe she found on a product label, but in my mind they were the be all end all of brownies. I used the recipe as a guide for the vegan version I created, and I think I got the recipe pretty close if not maybe a little bit better. A lot of my time spent engineering the perfect recipe is spent researching, and shopping for the highest quality ingredients I can find at a reasonable price. I try to use only fair trade ingredients which can often increase the cost, but I’ve found that usually means increased quality and flavor as well.

A good flavored non-dairy butter is a must for this recipe. I used Earth Balance. Oil is not a good butter substitution, because it lacks in the flavor and texture required. The most important ingredient in a good brownie is the cocoa, of course. Starting with a rich flavorful cocoa that’s fair trade is a good way to go. Brownies taste sweeter when you know that you’re not paying to keep others enslaved to make them. I used SACO Conscious Kitchen Certified Organic Cocoa in this recipe. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the rich taste and fair trade label. As always, Wholesome brand Organic Cane Sugar is my go to certified vegan white sugar, and tastes great in this recipe.


Vegan Brownies

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you can’t find Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer you can substitute it with the same quantity of flax egg.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan white sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fair trade baking cocoa
  • 4 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground sea salt

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl, or measuring cup. Keep a close eye on it as it melts to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add melted butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl combine Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, and water. Set aside for one minute to firm up.
  5. Slowly mix in the egg replacer. Mix until everything is blended, and there are no clumps.
  6. Sift in the cocoa powder a little at a time while continually mixing.
  7. Sift in the flour and baking powder a little at a time. Stir until the batter flows well and there are no clumps, but be careful not to over mix. Over mixing will make for tough brownies.
  8. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that’s at least 2″ deep. I lined my baking sheet with parchment, so I could easily remove the brownies in a full sheet to cut them evenly and decorate. If you’d like to decorate your brownies I recommend doing this. Make sure the parchment has enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan, and always remember to lightly grease your parchment for a recipe like this, so you can conveniently peal it off the brownies without tearing them.
  9. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Cook the brownies for 30-35 minutes. Check to see if they’re done with a toothpick. If it comes out clean your brownies are ready.
  10. Let your brownies cool, and cut them to serve. If you’d like to decorate the brownies let them cool, and then remove them from the pan. Measure, and cut them to desired size. Whip up some butter cream, and decorate them as you desire.

Baked Cauliflower Wings

When I was a kid cauliflower was on my list of vegetables that I absolutely hated. I always thought of it as a bad, less flavorful version of broccoli. It wasn’t until I had my first fried “cauliflower wing” that I was introduced to the transformative qualities of cauliflower. Sure, it might not be super flavorful on its own, but it soaks up other flavors like a sponge. Much like tofu, this quality makes it easy to make it taste like whatever you want. While I might not be a big advocate for things like cauliflower rice, or cauliflower pizza crust, I’ve grown to love cauliflower on its own. My favorite ways to prepare cauliflower are roasting it with a variety of spices, or breading it and serving it up with some of my favorite sauces for cauliflower wings.

Today I’ll share with you my quick and easy recipe for breading cauliflower wings. It’s super simple, and allows you the versatility to bake them, or fry them if you’d prefer. You only need a few ingredients and your favorite wing sauce/s. In this recipe we used vegan buffalo sauce, and BBQ sauce to coat ours. Feel free to experiment with some other great flavors like Thai Chili sauce, or a garlic non-dairy butter. Just make sure you check the ingredient label. Some buffalo sauces contain dairy, and some BBQ sauces contain anchovies.


Baked Cauliflower Wings

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • one head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, we used panko
  • 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • canola oil spray (optional)
  • parchment paper

Directions


1. Wash and dry the head of cauliflower. Break it down into bite sized florets.
2. Set up three bowls. In the first bowl add all of the milk. In the second bowl add all of the flour, salt, and pepper and mix. In the third bowl add the panko.
3. Dredge each cauliflower floret, and then set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To dredge them first place a floret in the non-dairy milk. Remove it allowing excess milk to drip back into the bowl, and then place it in the flour mixture. Make sure it is coated well with flour, tap of excess, and place it back in the milk. Remove it from the milk, and finally coat it thoroughly in the panko. Repeat for every floret.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Spray the florets with just a little bit of canola oil. This will help them brown in the oven.
6. Bake the wings for 30-35 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
7. While the wings bake place whatever wing sauce you’ll be using in a large mixing bowl, so it can warm to room temperature and won’t make your wings cold.
8. Melt butter in a separate bowl in the microwave, and add to the wing sauce/s. Mix thoroughly. This will help the sauce coat the wings nicely, and adds an extra fatty richness. If you’d like to you can skip this step.
9. Once the wings have baked toss them in the desired wing sauce/s until they’re thoroughly coated. If you choose to only use one sauce double it from a 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup.
10. I recommend serving with a dipping sauce, and a side salad.

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes were one of the dishes my Mom made quite frequently when I was a kid. Frankly, at the time I thought they were over rated, and did not appreciate them. As a busy adult my feelings have changed. Sloppy Joes not only give me a nostalgic look back on my childhood, but they’re quick and easy. Especially when they’re made in a slow cooker. All you have to do is throw the ingredients together the night before, and remember to turn it on in the morning. This recipe is loosely based off of the Sloppy Joes my mom would make. She says she never used a recipe to make them, so I’ve just gone off of my memory of what she did and the overall taste. This recipe features coca cola and ketchup, so if you’re looking for a healthy Sloppy Joe recipe you’ve come to the wrong place today. The key difference between this and my mom’s Sloppy Joe “recipe” is that we used lentils in ours, and not ground beef.

The key to making a good Sloppy Joe not only lies in a delicious sauce, but also in the type of buns you use. If you choose a bun that is too structurally sound, like a pretzel bun for example, it likely won’t work well for your Sloppy Joe eating experience. If the bun is too strong every bite you take just pushes the Sloppy Joe filling out. You want good, cheap, white bread buns for this. The bun should really soak up the Sloppy Joe sauce a bit, and tear off nicely with every bite. Just make sure you check the ingredients, and make sure the buns don’t contain whey or other dairy products. For some reason a lot of store bought breads contain dairy. I’ve found that pretty much every Pepperidge Farm bread product, and a lot of other name brand breads, contain whey. A good rule of thumb is to always thoroughly read the ingredient list on any product that is not already marked as certified Vegan.

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups No Beef Bullion or other vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 12oz original Coca Cola
  • 1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • additional seasonings to taste

Directions

  1. Sift through lentils to make sure there are no pebbles/gravel, and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Dice the onion. You can sautee it up in some vegan butter if you want for a stronger flavor, but it’s not necessary.
  3. Assemble all the ingredients in the crock pot, and refrigerate overnight. This will give the lentils the chance to soak up some of the liquid, and ensures that they’ll become tender after cooking.
  4. Give the ingredients a good stir, and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
  5. Serve the Sloppy Joes on soft buns. Add any desired condiments. I really enjoy topping mine with pickles.