Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing off-the-cuff recipes on instagram (which I save in highlights). This has primarily been because at the heart of cooking, I don’t measure anything. Exact recipes aren’t my thing (which may come as a surprise, given I’ve run this site for 10+ years). While I’m more than happy to help people out with a solid recipe, my passion for cooking is rooted in using my knowledge and senses to make a delicious meal.
This also comes in handy when I’m trying to use up odds and ends of what I might have left. And so, I created a series on instagram stories where I cook through a recipe I’m making up on the spot. And after the fact, I’ll occasionally post the more successful ones on the site. That’s where this red kuri squash comes into view.
Red Kuri Squash, not your pumpkin
In the realm of winter squash, those that do not need peeled reign supreme in my kitchen. Delicata, acorn (in some instances), and red kuri squash are my go-to varieties. This thin-skinned variety looks similar to a pumpkin with it’s orange outer shell. However, it’s better than pumpkin (and yes, those are fightin’ words).
Red kuri squash has a slightly sweeter flavor that is often compared to chestnut. I find the flavor to be a bit more robust. This, paired with the thin skin, make it a great ‘star of the show’ squash.
Can’t find red kuri squash? Go for delicata or peeled butternut squash. This roasted squash would also be delicious with sweet potatoes (you don’t have to peel those either!)
The heat: Chipotle
You can pick up chipotles in adobo sauce in most aisles that house all the good Mexican ingredients. However, if you can’t find those, a sprinkle of chipotle powder will work. You will need to add a bit extra oil (about ½ tablespoon or so) to accommodate for the wetness of the canned peppers.
An unexpected bean
Most of the time with these flavors you’ll find pinto beans or a softer bean. I love this meal because the chickpeas add texture and soak up all the flavors. You could swap in white beans or pinto beans, but the texture won’t be quite the same.
Add some grains
If you’re looking to bulk up this dish a bit more, add 1 to 1 ½ cups cooked grains. I’d prefer to go with a grain that has texture. Spelt, einkorn, or sorghum would be up there as top choices. All of these grains would pair well with the sweet flavor of the red kuri. Of course, you could always go with quinoa for quick cooking.
Finally, I love leftovers of this red kuri in salads. Simply toss with your favorite greens and a bit of lemon vinaigrette for an easy next-day/transform leftovers dish.
A spicy, vegan red kuri dish that works well as a high-protein side or a perfect, grain-free lunch.
1/2 small red kuri squash, seeds removed and cut into 1/4” thick slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, with 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Hefty pinch of salt
1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup loosely packed cilantro (can use stems too)
Zest from one lemon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons pepitas
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
Juice from one lemon, for serving
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Combine garlic with chipotle and adobo sauce in a small bowl. Use the back of a spoon to break apart the chipotle. Add in the olive oil and salt. Place the squash on a tray, toss with the chipotle mix, and roast for 25 minutes. After that time, add the chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
As the squash roasts, place the cilantro on a cutting board along with the lemon zest and salt. Chop until the cilantro is finely minced. Once the squash is done, toss with the cilantro mix, pepitas, feta, and lemon juice.
Can’t find chipotles in adobo? Use a pinch of chipotle powder and an extra bit of olive oil.
Keywords: red kuri squash, chipotle red kuri squash
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.