With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought some of you might be interested in this healthier take on the classic cheese fondue. I love sharing a good fondue dinner with loved ones, but I hate the food coma and bloating that usually comes with the traditional cheese-packed version.
This ingenious recipe comes from Nina Olsson’s first cookbook Bowls of Goodness. I “met” Nina on Instagram a couple years ago when we had both just started out our food blogs. I remember being instantly in awe of her photography and gorgeous plant-based creations. Nina plays with flavours, textures, and colours like a magician in the kitchen, bringing together food combinations that would have never even crossed my mind. She first started sharing her creations on her beautiful blog Nourish Atelier, before she delved into the world of cookbook creation. Bowls of Goodness is Nina’s first cookbook, and she miraculously managed to create two more cookbooks within just a couple years. Her second book, Veggie Burger Atelier was just released today, and is all about inventive vegetarian burgers (yumm!). And yes, there’s a third book on the way, which I can’t wait to hear more about.
Bowls of Goodness is filled with beautiful vegetarian meals that you can eat (you guessed it) in bowls. From breakfasts, to heartier meals, to desserts, there’s so much inspiration in this book, you’ll want to eat from a bowl for the rest of your days. All of Nina’s recipes are vegetarian, with many being vegan and/or gluten-free. Her passion for good ingredients and world-inspired flavours really shines through this book. If you’re looking to spice up your meals and make vegetarian cooking really exciting, this book is exactly what you need.
Out of all the recipes in Bowls of Goodness, this butternut squash fondue was one of the first that caught my eye. I’ve made it a few times this season, and thought it would be fitted to finally share it today, for those of you who might be looking for a clever last-minute Valentine’s Day dinner idea.
Butternut squash makes a wonderfully creamy “fondue”, without any cheese or dairy. The squash is roasted with fresh sage (so good!) and then blended up with nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic and coconut milk, resulting in a rich, savoury veggie-packed dipping sauce.
Nina suggest serving it with crudités, but I like throwing a bunch of roasted veggies (Brussels sprout, cauliflower, parsnip, carrots, broccoli, etc.) on the table. I also like to serve it with roasted tofu cubes for a protein-heavy meal.
Recipe from Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment by Nina Olsson. You can also get Nina’s second cookbook Veggie Burger Atelier here, and follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration.
Butternut Squash "Cheese" Fondue (Vegan)
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
For the butternut squash fondue
- 2 lbs butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into small wedges
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- A handful sage leaves chopped
- 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- juice of 2 lemons
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- salt and pepper
- 2-3 lbs mixed vegetables, roasted or raw (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, cherry tomatoes, etc).
- Pieces of crusty bread, roasted tofu cubes, etc.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash wedges on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and sage. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until completely tender. Remove from the oven.
Transfer the roasted squash to a high speed blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add water, as needed, and blend again until the desired consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve with roasted veggies or crudités, pieces of bread, roasted tofu, etc. If you don't have a fondue set to keep the fondue warm, heat the fondue in a saucepan and serve it hot, reheating it as needed.