Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Queso-menos Quesadillas con las habas de Anasazi y la calabaza de Delicata (Cheese-less Quesadillas with Anasazi Beans and Delicata Squash)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Queso-menos Quesadillas con las habas de Anasazi y la calabaza de Delicata (Cheese-less Quesadillas with Anasazi Beans and Delicata Squash)

Update: Veggie Girl flippin' rocks and she helped me get the translation right. Thanks Veggie Girl!

Anyways, this recipe is dedicated to Katrina from Kale for Sale for giving me the idea of expanding my horizons and mashing up roasted squash for use in Mexican food. It was an awesome suggestion and we'll be doing it often now. So thanks Katrina, this one is for you!

This was also the first time we had tried delicata squash. There is only one purveyor at the farmer's market who sells these too. I had noticed them when I bought a huge bag of organic red potatoes from the vendor the previous week. We asked him about the delicata and his awesome array of acorn squash, but didn't purchase any - until last Saturday of course. After enjoying the delicata squash as much as we did, we're hoping to clean out the remaining ones he has (along with a few of his gorgeous acorn squash) Saturday at the market. Wahoo for storing local booty for winter.

Between the 11 butternut squash we got from our community garden, the delicata, acorn, and spaghetti squash we hope to obtain, we are going to turn in to squash! During the summer, we are loaded down with zucchini, yellow summer squash, and eggplant (not squash, but similar in taste in my opinion), and over the winter - well, it's all winter squash. I guess it is a good thing that squash are versatile and we like them, otherwise eating locally might be pretty crummy!

An FYI if you've never had delicata squash: apparently it is considered as a quasi-heirloom variety. It is also referred to as "Sweet Potato Squash" and "Bohemian Squash", not sure about the Bohemian one, but the Sweet Potato name fits. The squash has an orange flesh similar to butternuts. They are moist and very sweet, much guessed it, a sweet potato. The skins on delicatas are also edible, though we scooped the flesh out and discarded the skin for this recipe. I tried a piece with the skin after I had roasted the squash and it was quite edible.

This is a really simple recipe, the only time consuming part is roasting the squash. If you have your beans made ahead of time (which I always do because Brett flippin' rocks hardcore), then you can use the squash roasting time to prepare everything else and have a meal from oven to table in about 45 minutes.

Anywho, I've rambled long enough, let's get on to the food!

Just a reminder of the produce legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden

Queso-menos Quesadillas con las habas de Anasazi y la calabaza de Delicata
1 delicata squash, stem removed and halved *
1 tbsp safflower oil
2 cups Anasazi beans, cooked
1 cup of white button mushrooms, minced
2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced *
1 hot banana pepper, seeded and minced ***
1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced **
1 small yellow onion, minced **
4 cloves of garlic, minced *
chili powder
ground coriander

spicy salsa

Preheat oven to 450.

On a baking sheet, rub safflower oil into the flesh of the squash (the squash should be roasted with the skin side down). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until squash is soft.

Let cool for a few minutes. Then scoop flesh out of the skin and mash in a bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a few tablespoons of water in a medium skillet.

Add the mushrooms, peppers, garlic, and onions. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are to your desired "doneness". Drain any excess water.

Add the beans and seasonings and heat through.

Layer squash and bean mixture in warmed tortillas. Fry if desired.

Serve with some really spicy salsa.

I can't remember what brand it is, but Brett and I recently came across a really yummy hot salsa that comes from Texas. It has pureed hot New Mexican Chile peppers, jalapenos, and chipotle peppers in it. It is very good for salsa out of a jar.

That reminds me, I need to see what kind of salsa the locals sell at the market this weekend!

I should be back sometime this week with a post about our (vegetarian) Huevos Rancheros - they are seriously awesome, and then the first of my two installments of Monthly Unplug Yourself wrap ups. There are going to be two for the sake of my not writing a novel for you guys to read all at once. The first post will be a round-up of other participants' posts on the initiative as well as on my beginners understanding of Permaculture - having read the book Permaculture and now working on David Holmgren's Collected Writings. I hope that my knowledge of the topic will continue to improve. The second post will be about the alternative (non-mainstream) news sources I read, with links and brief descriptions of each. Now, most of them are liberal, some so liberal they are almost back around to the right again, but I do have a few conservative news sources I read for good measure. Oh, and also if I need a little increase in blood pressure. ;-)

Brett should be posting sometime soon as well as to his progress with the Unplug Yourself initiative, and he will also be posting the monthly "call to arms" for the initiative as well. I think we've worked a lot of the "kinks" out, so hopefully the aim, purpose, and commitment will be much clearer. A big thanks to everyone who has joined - we hope you have enjoyed the experience (or at least learned something) and will consider continuing on. Others, please think about signing up to participate - this is a group effort and the more heads that come together and figure out how to live better with less, expand our horizons, and live by our morals and priciples - the better this planet will be.

'Til next time.


jessy said...

don't you just love having cooked beans on hand and ready-to-go?! we always make a bunch sunday afternoon for the week ahead! squash + mexi yummies = mmmmmm! i've gotta try that! holy batman, Jennifer - you ARE going to turn into a squash! ahahaha! good thing it's so yummy! i wonder if squash and cabbage go well together! ahahahahaha! yay!

tomorrow night dan & i are trying sweet potatoes with kale & black beans in some homemade tortillas - i can't WAIT! :) you've inspired us to try sweet potatoes with the beans! thanks!

oh, and i'm writing up my Unplug Initiative update and posting it this week, too! hooooooooooray!

VeggieGirl said...

"Queso-menos Quesadillas con las habas de Anasazi y la calabaza de Delicata." :0)

Looks delicious, as always - you need to write a cookbook!!

T said...

Oooh, that sounds so good! I love squash in tortillas... its not exactly cheesy, but it makes a great base.
Maybe "Dillas sin queso?"

Can't wait for the list of alt-media sites! I'm always on just one or two.

Daphne said...

That sounds yummy. I'm going to have to see if I can find a Delicata squash around here. I'm hitting the farmer's market tomorrow. Last week they didn't have much squash, but I'm hoping this week they do.

BTW I like the idea of cooking up beans in advance. I would love to get off of canned beans (they are my most recycled item when the kids are off at collage), but my beans mean everything to me. I eat a lot of them. How do you deal with keeping the different kinds around? Do you do a meal planner at the beginning of the week to see what kinds you need to cook? Or do you just cook one variety and use only that? I'm also contemplating my freezer. I know they get mushy in there, but I actually like mushy in beans most of the time, but sometimes they really need to hold up well. What do you do?

Anonymous said...

I *love* delicata squash! I am glad you tried it and that you enjoyed it! Delicata and spaghetti squash are my two favorite winter squashes...although I really do love them all.

I am excited to see your Huevos Rancheros recipe!


selina said...

hey! i just bought a delicata squash!! and an acorn & butternut. oh my goodness tons of squash & apples at the market today.

they had some monster huge snake gourds & some pretty big long island cheese squashes. i was so tempted to buy them. maybe next week.

maybe i'll make these quesadillas! or some variation of them.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

thanks for the review of the delicata! It looks so pretty. I love the orange color.
We're lucky to have some local jarred salsas that we like. Merz (I think from Belleville, IL) and Hacienda, from the St. Louis restaurant. Hope you find one you like too!

kale for sale said...

The title is beautiful and thanks for the dedication. I got totally hungry for a burritto reading about them and remembered how much I love delicata. Especially because we so often eat the skin too. I haven't seen any yet but were getting closer. Last year I had so many squash displayed and stocked up for the winter in the pantry it was crazy. I never thought I'd want to eat another one and gave them away for every excuse I could come up with. But here I am ready for another season of the good guys.

ChickPea said...

I will have to bookmark this recipe, as I have never tried delicata squash or anasazi beans, and I am always looking for new foods to try. Looks wonderful, as always!

VeganCowGirl said...

Jennifer I love the name of the squash you selected for these quesadillas! Amazing stuff. Thanks for sharing such a great variety of food....and the best mexican recipes EVER!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - Yes I do! That is how we used to do it when both Brett and I were in school. Now that it is just him, he is home most of the time and has time to make 'em as we need 'em. It makes meals so much easier.

Haha, I feel like I am going to turn into a squash sometimes, but it so flippin' good, what'cha gonna do? Hahahahaha, well we might just have to see if squash and cabbage go well together since we'll be eating a ton of both over winter.

Awesome! I bet you guys will love the combination.

I saw your post this morning and it was awesome. You guys are seriously super cool.

Veggie Girl - Thank you for the translation help! You rock!

Thank you! I've thought about it before...

T - Thank you. I do too. You are right though, while not cheese it does offer the same kind of, I don't know, something!

I should be getting around to that post no later than Monday. I have a couple that are my "go to" sources, that I frequent more than the rest of them, but I try to keep up on the others from time to time as well.

Daphne - Good luck finding some squash!

About the beans: We have gone about it one of two ways, but both require planning. I generally plan my meals after I've gone to the market and see what I have to work with. When both Brett and I were still in college, we would spend one day on the weekend cooking up all the beans that we would need that week - generally a couple of different kinds. Now that I work full-time and Brett is still in college, I make up a "bean prep schedule" for soaking and cooking the beans throughout the week. I'll soak them before I go to bed, and Brett will cook them the next day while I'm at work. The latter method could also be utilized if you don't have someone there to cook the beans for you, just set them up to cook all day in a crock pot.

Hope this helps!

Courtney - Me too! I'm going to pick up a few spaghetti squash for the winter as well. We've only had spaghetti squash once, as a sweet side dish at my Nanny's house, and we loved it. But I know they are much more versatile than that, so we are going to try to branch out this winter. Do you have any suggestions?

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? The Huevos Rancheros recipe I'm going to post tomorrow is vegetarian - it includes eggs. I've made a vegan version before too, the recipe can be found in the recipe index.

Selina - WAHOO! Sounds like you had a very successful trip to the market.

What kind of apples did you get?

I think those must be the same type of gourds we saw at the market last weekend. They were these huge, gnarly things that looked like funky butternut squash. We couldn't figure out what you were supposed to do with them.

I've never heard of Long Island Cheese Squashes. If you try them, you'll have to let us know what you think. If we are going to turn into squash, we might as well do it by variety. ;-)

I bet you'll enjoy these if you make them. Or if you make something similar as well, its a great way to do Mexican. And if you do some variation on it, then I can get some inspiration from you. Wahoo for sharing!

Lisa - No problem. Delicata are gorgeous squash - inside and out.

You are lucky. I may have to check out Hacienda next time I'm in St. Louis visiting my dad.

Kale for Sale - Thank YOU for the inspiration!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out you could eat the skin!

Hahahahaha about all the squash. You would think after a summer of zucchini and summer squash and winters of squash that we would be squashed out, but it doesn't seem to happen.

Hope the delicatas start showing up at the market soon.

Chickpea - Oh, if you find delicata squash, snap those bad boys up as quickly as you can, they are amazing. I'm saddened that only one vendor at the market has them, but we are hoping to clear out the rest of what he has. Anasazi's are great too - they have a subtle poultry-ish quality to them.


Vegan Cow Girl - Aw, thank you so much for the kind words!

DP Nguyen said...

That recipe does seem very easy. It's just the chopping that is most time consuming I would imagine. Yum!

Daphne said...

Thanks for the bean info. I had great success finding delicata squash today. Three different farms were selling it. And there were three different kinds. The one that I think of when I think of delicata (weird that I've known what it looks like for a while but have never eaten it before). It is sort of spaghetti squashed shaped but with yellow and green ribs. The next kind has the same coloring but is squat and stands on its end. The next kind is like the first but yellow and orange ribbed. I really should have bought one of each to try them all, but of course wasn't with it enough to think of that at the time. Ah well. I bought some short squat ones, since I loved the way they looked.

Bianca said...

Yum yum yum! I love anything with roasted squash. Never had delicata. But I'm certain that it's wonderful.

BTW, how long can you store winter squash in the fridge? I've heard about putting them up for the winter, but I didn't know if you had to do anything special...or how long they would last.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Dp Nguyen - It really was. And yes, the chopping part takes the most time, that is actually how I spend most of my cooking time - chopping things!

Daphne - No problem.

That is wonderful! When we were at the market picking out delicata, we noticed quite a variation in what they looked like as well. There were even some orange-ish ones. I saw your post where you were going to roast and mash them, and between the delicata and those butternut you got, I am wanting squash!

Bianca - I am a huge fan of the roasted squash myself.

I wouldn't store them in the fridge unless you have cut into them already. It usually helps to "cure" your winter squash for a couple of weeks. Look for squash that still have part of the stem attached, as they will last longer. Keep them in a hot, humid place (we kept ours on the back porch since it was hot and humid out there) for about 2 weeks - but don't do this to acorn squash. After curing, they generally just need to be kept in a cool dry place and depending on the variety, they can last up to 6 months.

This is a good site to check out:

But I would venture to say that the storage estimates here are conservative. I have talked, read, and heard of many folks who have successfully kept their winter squash for far longer than the table on the site indicates.

Spaghetti and acorn squash do not last as long as say, butternuts or hubbards, so those will likely need to be eaten first. Trust your judgment, if one of your squash is starting to look "off", get to that one first, and you can always freeze any that you can't use right away.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jennifer--I am a vegan, but I will certainly be checking out your vegan version in the index. Thanks for the tip!

I am boring when it comes to my spaghetti squash...I love it so much I like to just eat it plain. But it can be fun to toss it with some tomatoes and basil and make a fake "pasta" dish--topped with nutritional yeast, of course!


Alice (in Veganland) said...

This sounds great! Specially since I cannot find local sweet potatoes, but I have plenty of local squash and pumpkin. I will definitely be trying this soon!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Alice - No local sweet potatoes? That is no good at all! At least you can find lots of squash! I've never been too in to pumpkin as I don't like pie, but maybe I should try it again, a different way.