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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Broccoli and Bean Purée & Butternut Squash and Carrot Purée

Low-Cal But Still Lovely
Vegetable purées are a great thing to make with your vegetables, especially if you are bored with your normal preparations. They taste quite rich and exotic and are not necessarily high in calories or points, if you know what I mean. Here are 2 of my favorite ones:

Puréed Broccoli with Roasted Garlic and Cannelloni Beans

Four garlic cloves
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2-1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 cup canned cannelloni (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot pepper sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine garlic, 1-teaspoon oil and crushed red pepper in small foil packet, sealing well. Bake until garlic is tender, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, steam or boil broccoli florets until very tender, Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Drain. Transfer to blender or food processor. Add cannelloni, lemon juice, chives, and garlic mixture and remaining olive oil and purée until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Recipe makes 1-1/2 cup puree.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Purée

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
One medium onion, diced
Three carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
3-1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar free maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat large, deep non-stick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and warm until hot. Add onion and sauté until just tender but not browned, about four minutes. Add carrots and sauté until coated, about one minute. Add squash and sauté until beginning to soften, about eight minutes. Pour orange juice over vegetables. Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes. Uncover and simmer until all liquid evaporates, about five minutes. Stir in maple syrup. Cool slightly. Working in batches, purée mixture in blender or food processor until smooth. Mix in nutmeg and coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. (You can make this up to two days in advance and keep covered and stored in the refrigerator if desired. Heat gently in saucepan or microwave to re-warm). Recipe makes about five cups.