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Vegetarian Recipe: Thai Tofu Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Recipe: Thai Tofu Butternut Squash

Vegan Thai Butternut Squash Stew With Tofu, Coconut Milk and Toasted Almonds

4 - 6 servings:

We wanted a vegetarian-vegan tofu recipe with butternut squash, coconut, and almonds, because these are ideal foods for pregnancy and breastfeeding. It had to be blissfully delicious, as well as nourishing and filling (i.e high calorie!) We came up with a recipe which is loosely based on Thai vegetarian cooking. It's fancy enough for company, but easy to make.

The coconut milk, tofu, and toasted almonds can be prepared ahead of time. You can use canned cocunut milk, but if you have a blender, it's worth making your own from fresh or dried unsweetened cocunut, for the vast improvement in taste. It's easy to do. Also, please use fresh ginger and jalapeno if you can - it's not the same without them.


  • 1 butternut squash, 2 - 3 lb.
  • 2 stalks celery or 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded. If you don't have it, use a tiny pinch of cayenne
  • 2 thin slices raw ginger, peeled, or 1/4 tsp dried, if you don't have fresh.
  • 3 tblsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 2 cups cocunut milk (recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup blanched toasted almonds(recipe below)
  • Fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves for garnish

Coconut Milk:

  • Soak 2 c. fresh or dried unsweetened coconut in two cups boiling water in the blender for 30 minutes.
  • Whiz at high speed for 5 minutes.
  • Strain through cloth lined seive - press hard to get out all the milk.
  • Reserve the liquid and discard the solids

Blanched Toasted Almonds:

  • Boil 1 cup water. Add almonds and remove from heat, let stand for 2 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse in cold water.
  • Slip off the skins and dry.
  • Heat 1 tsp ghee or oil in a heavy fry pan, and toast the almonds, stirring frequently.
  • Or roast dry in the oven on low, 250 - 275 degrees, stirring frequently

Sliced Tofu:

  • Use 1/2 of a 1 lb block of firm tofu
  • Rinse and pat dry
  • Cut in 2" X 1/2" X 1/2" sticks
  • Keep covered in the fridge until you need them.

Recipe Directions:

  1. If you're serving this with a grain, put that on to cook first, or while the veggies simmer, depending on how long the cooking time
  2. Heat ghee or oil on med. in a large shallow saucepan
  3. Mince the fresh jalapeno and ginger, if you're using them
  4. Cut the squash in thick rounds, and peel by cutting down around the sides.
  5. Remove the seeds, and dice in 1" pieces
  6. Thinly slice the celery or fennel,and carrots
  7. Add the veggies to the oil, turn the heat up a bit, and saute for five minutes
  8. Add the remaining spices, and stir another few minutes
  9. Add the coconut milk and salt, bring to boil, then simmer on low until vegies are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring several times
  10. Add the tofu and toasted almonds, and simmer another 5 minutes

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Even though this recipe can be finished in the slow cooker, there is still a fair bit of advance preparation
  2. After stir frying the veggies and spices, add the coconut milk and transfer all to a six quart slow cooker
  3. (This is where an appliance timer is handy, so you can set the slow cooker to turn on two hours before you want to eat!)
  4. Cover and cook on low until the squash is tender - approx 2 hours
  5. Add the tofu and toasted almonds, turn heat to high, and cook another 15 - 20 minutes

Garnish with cilantro or basil, and serve with a grain (basmati rice is good)


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