Thursday, January 6, 2011

The panini maker is out of hibernation and butternut squash phyllo rolls

The decorations are put away, the lights are down and the kid is back in school as of yesterday.  Another new year to make a fresh start. 

So the family is going to go on a light detox, if you will, starting Monday.  No caffeine, alcohol(I'll miss you red wine),sugar, wheat, peanuts, bottled juice or soy for at least a week. We'll take it one week at a time but I am going to keep the added sugar at bay for a while.  I do have to  mention though that we do have dinner plans with another couple next weekend but we are going to a flatbread place that has wonderful salads and light flatbread pizza so we'll try to keep it light and then go right back to it the day after.

I do think that the spring/summer time is easier for detoxing just because there are more vegetables and fruits available so.....we may do better then.
Are any of you out there going to detox?

I know New Years Eve has past but we decided to have a party for it this year.  We took our panini maker out of hibernation and let everyone make there own panini's. So glad we did, it was a hit of the party!  Dave grilled a bunch of vegetables on the bbq and vegan mozzarella.  Since there were quite a few non-veg peeps Dave grilled some animal meat that came from his boss that raises grass fed cows.  Not my thing obviously but at least we weren't serving up antibiotics and added hormones to our friends.  Moving on we also had a few different mustards, pesto and sundried tomato pesto to spread on the bread. 

We had so much food with everyone bringing an appetizer.  Speaking of appetizers check the picture below.  

Butternut Squash Phyllo Rolls

Okay these  wonderful gems I made quite a few years ago and everyone loved them.  Well I received the same reaction this time.  People would bite in and say "oh these are so good, what's in them?"  I would start off saying butternut squash, onion, etc.  Then they would say that it tasted like there was some type of cheese in them but they couldn't place what type and then they would look at me because they know I'm vegan and don't use dairy cheese.  That's when I had to say that there is tofu in them, but it's a tofu mixed with some other ingredients that makes a sauce.  The sauce actually tastes alot better when mixed into the butternut squash mixture.  So anyhoo if you want to make a delicious appetizer that everyone will love make these! 

Butternut Squash, Corn, and Cilantro Phyllo Rolls 
taken from the Real Food Daily cookbook
by Ann Gentry

Makes 24 rolls

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 3/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded,
and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup julienned peeled carrots
1 cup very thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup yellow corn kernels (about 2 ears of corn)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Tofu Ricotta Cheese (recipe follows)
8 frozen whole wheat phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
1/2 cup canola oil(I used Earth Balance)

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add the squash and carrots, and saute 25 minutes longer, or until the squash and carrots are crisp-tender.
Add the cabbage and corn, and saute for 4 minutes, or until the cabbage wilts and the liquid evaporates (the mixture should he thick and chunky at this point). tir in the cilantro and salt. Cool to room temperature and stir in the cheese.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unroll the phyllo sheets on a dry flat surface. Carefully remove 1 phyllo sheet and lay it on a work surface (keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel). Brush the phyllo sheet with some of the canola oil. Cut the phyllo sheet crosswise into three 4-inch-wide strips. Place 2 generous tablespoons of the butternut squash mixture on one short end of each phyllo strip. Working with phyllo strip at a time, roll up the phyllo to enclose the squash mixture, folding in the sides as for a burrito. and brushing the edge with more oil to seal. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush the tops with more oil. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets, oil, and butternut squash mixture, Forming 24 rolls total.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, then arrange the rolls on a platter and serve warm.

To make ahead: stored in an airtight container, the uncooked rolls will keep for 1 week in the freezer. To bake, place the frozen rolls on a baking sheet (do not thaw them) and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.


Makes 3 cups

14 ounces water-packed firm tofu, drained
2/3 cup yellow miso
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. The cheese will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.


  1. love the butternut must of been extremely delicious.

  2. I'll be that tofu ricotta is delicious!

    Good luck with your cleanse.

  3. Mmm, looks good! I was thinking about doing a detox. We will see. My mom does the lemonade, cayenne pepper and maple syrup one a few times a year. Last time I tried I got a BAD migraine. Which I think was good because my body was starting to detox, but I could not work with that headache so I quit. I think it's best if you aren't working for like a week.

  4. Love the panini bar idea! We did that a couple of years ago for Christmas Eve and it was really fun. I am going to make those butternut squash rolls as I know how yummy they are. I made the butternut squash lasagna after i saw your post and we gobbled it up!

  5. Those phyllo rolls look totally amazing!

  6. And here I never would have thought about putting butternut in a spring roll type of assembly. These look fantastic! However, I think I might make that ricotta and use it separately, it sounds like a real winner for a number of cheesy dishes.

  7. Carissa-I guess we are doing more of a clean up than detox. Just elimintating a bunch of stuff and then trying to get more juicing in.
    Bittersweet- This particular ricotta mixture is more sauce like and would be wonderful to use for other things.

  8. The panini party sounds super fun! The butternut squash rolls look really good too! I love all of the different ingredients. :-)