Here’s a non-ideal life situation for you – Thanksgiving menu testing the week before running a marathon. Really.

I mean, it’s only the biggest food holiday of the year.  And maybe it’s also the first time you’re cooking/baking for your extended family who have never really eaten anything you’ve cooked and/or baked, but know about the blog and are therefore probably expecting greatness.  No pressure.

So now not only are you stress eating like a madwoman, but you also have three gratins, a few pies, and a sweet potato casserole or two on the menu for this week, none of which are particularly skimpy on the heavy cream.  Not to mention the fact that you also feel compelled to make a real dinner that has, you know…a less jaw-droppingly awful saturated fat and cholesterol profile and that might actually make your muscles stronger rather than send them to hell in a handbasket along with your size 4 skinny jeans that you really want to still fit into after all this is over.

Oh the joys of being a food blogger.


All I have to say is…thank the heavens for this stew.  Not only does it come together in around a half hour, but it’s also so full of health I can hardly stand it!! Butternut squash, swiss chard, and tofu join forces with some serious Thai flavor to make a dish that is both filling and delicious.  Seriously, having this in the fridge will make it that much easier to pry yourself away from the creamed “insert vegetable here” that you’ve been taste testing every hour for the past two days.  And, if you’re willing to go the non-traditional route, it would also make for an awesome vegetarian entree on Thanksgiving….which, given how good it is for you, would leave you more room for pie.  That, my friends, is a win. Squared.

This is our THIRD week of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash, cohosted by me and the lovely Heather of Girlichef!  If you want to participate, be sure to link up your winter squash recipes from this week below:


Before I get to the recipe, I just want to let my NYC readers know about an awesome event going on at the Tribeca Whole Foods this week!  The New York Times best-selling author and health advocate, Kris Carr, along with Senior Culinary Educator for Whole Foods Market’s healthy eating program, Chef Chad Sarno will be signing copies of their new book – Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution.  They’ll be there on Tuesday November 13th from 6:30-8:30PM.  Anyone who attends will get to taste an assortment of delicious recipes from their cookbook, watch a cooking demonstration, and get their book signed by the chefs. If you’re in the area, it definitely sounds like an awesome event to attend!

Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew
Serves 4, adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone


  • 2 medium leeks, white parts only
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 15 oz can lite coconut milk
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, de-stemmed and cut into ribbons
  • 1 10 oz package extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Halve the leeks lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces.  Wash off any dirt.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the leeks and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until partially softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles, and ginger.  Cook 1 minute more. Add the curry, sugar, and soy sauce.  Reduce the heat to medium, scrape the pan and cook for a few minutes more.
  3. Add 3 cups water, the coconut milk, squash, swiss chard, and 1 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the tofu to the stew once the squash is almost tender, then simmer until it’s done.  Taste for salt and add the lime juice.
  4. Fry the peanuts in a few drops of peanut oil in a small skillet over medium heat until browned. Coarsely chop the nuts. Serve the stew over rice with the cilantro and peanuts scattered over the top.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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61 Responses to Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew {12 weeks of winter squash}

  1. Danielle says:

    I bet the Thai flavors really work well with the squash.

  2. Glad to hear you’re filling up on goodness before the big race! This stew sounds awesome, and super unique! Love this recipe…so, so, much.

  3. Tofu and winter squash…I would love to try the combo as they are both my favourites.

  4. Amy says:

    I was experimenting with Halloween goodies in August, Thanksgiving in September, and I started Christmas cookies 2 weeks ago. My kids are so confused.

  5. Foodycat says:

    It’s a lovely-looking dish! Very warming.

  6. The winter squash stew sounds fabolous! I love butternut squash, it’s one thing I look forward to this time of year!! Girl, I get you about fitting into the skinny jeans! I am having issues right now and the holiday season hasn’t quite hit yet! I’m doomed!

  7. If I was ever put in that situation I think I’d just make dessert. I mean that is a lot of pressure really and you want to kind of stay traditional too.
    It’s like cooking for my hubby–impossible. lol

  8. After Thanksgiving, I think I’ll be in full-blown winter mode and I’ll be sure to cook up a big pot of this beautiful stew. Hope you are doing well darling! Have a great week!

  9. Pam says:

    This will be great for winter. Can’t wait to try it!

  10. sandra says:

    perfect timing. I have a butternut squash and swiss chard ready for something, for which I had no idea what until I saw you recipe. And yikes! you reminded me how soon Thanksgiving is. Time flies.

  11. You sound so stressed, Joanne.. it will be ok! And delicious, I have no doubt. I’ve realized there are bigger things to stress out about.. like my EXAM!! 😉 Must go back to studying. 🙂

  12. Kalyn Denny says:

    Oh my word! All your squash creations look good to me, but you may have outdone yourself with this one.

  13. i love the idea of tofu in stew! yum!

  14. Katerina says:

    My son is fan of tofu lately, I am sure he would love this stew! Looks very hearty!

  15. Good luck with all the testing and the actual execution! My family is the same way; they think I’m some kind of kitchen guru when I actually just cook really normal things.

  16. Anything you make your family is going to be amazing and they will be blown away no matter what. Can’t wait to hear about your final menu:-)

  17. Looks like thanks giving dinner is perfectly timed – lots of energy for the marathon, and motivation to run faster to burn all those calories. Its a win win situation.

  18. Saguna says:

    Recipe testing IS dangerous! Last week I got through a whole red velvet cake which wasn’t quite red enough so I hid it under cream cheese frosting and pretended it was red (I think I’m sorta fitting myself out with (spare) winter tires, ahaha).I love winter squash or melon with peanut sauce and thai flavours like ginger and lemongrass- the coconut milk in there sounds like a REALLY good idea too.

  19. I know that cookbook and this recipe is good. I think I would like to add a teaspoon or so of red curry paste to it. I’m jus’ sayin’

  20. Well, just think if you weren’t training for the marathon. size 4 would turn into 10 far faster!!

  21. Sounds good! I’m taste testing now through December…lol! This does sound really good 🙂

  22. Looks delicious…love the peanuts on top!

  23. Candice says:

    I want to come to your house for dinner! You make healthy so good-looking 🙂

  24. Hotly Spiced says:

    What a lovely looking dinner. I feel that pressure you speak of too. It’s whenever anyone who knows I’m a food blogger is coming over for dinner. Expectations are really high. I can’t wait to see what you cook for Thanksgiving – I know you’ll impress your crowd! xx

  25. Eileen says:

    Oh, man, that squash! This looks perfect for Thanksgiving, honestly–we’ve been doing vegan Thanksgiving with a couple friends for the past few years, and this is exactly the kind of food I want to put on the table for that occasion. Super harvesty, but not reliant on meat for anything whatever. 🙂

  26. I am loving this winter squash series, Joanne! These flavors are my #1 go-to but would never think to pair them with squash. Love it!!

  27. london bakes says:

    This looks so delicious and comforting – like a hug in a bowl!

  28. Once again, you never have to sell me on squash – love it! What a beautiful bowl of squash goodness and so full of great flavors.

  29. Oh this looks like a great dish to have for dinner on a cool night!

  30. OohLookBel says:

    Great idea to add the spicy Thai flavours to this dish. It must taste pretty amazing!

  31. Beth says:

    There’s a lot of pressure on food bloggers to only serve food that’s great. I’ll be preparing a couple of desserts for a family reunion later this month, and expectations are high. Fingers crossed that I can live up to them!

  32. daphne says:

    I want to be back in NYC! What awesome event.

    Healthy and delish- it’s great for cold weather! And i bet you have great recipes planned for thanksgiving already. 😉

  33. Jessie says:

    Ah, the sacrifices you make for food blogging 😉 It must be a lot of pressure, but I know you’ll do amazing at Thanksgiving! I’m very impressed you’re test driving recipes beforehand – I have a habit of skipping test driving in favor of less worthy activities (e.g. watching way too many episodes of Arrested Development in a row). It never ends well.

    I love the fact this stew is packed with nutrients! Sounds like a perfect addition to Thanksgiving 🙂

  34. Oh man…that stew looks so warm and inviting! I want a bowl right now 😛
    I’m sure you’ll impress your family with all the efforts your putting in to testing these recipes!!

  35. marie says:

    Oh this looks fantastic, I make a similar dish but I want to try your version. We’re going away for Thanksgiving, first time in years and I feel so light 🙂 Not being in charge of the whole dinner for the first time in years, oh happy day!

  36. tigerfish says:

    I thought food holiday means taking a break from cooking during the holidays? 😛

  37. Kari says:

    This looks gorgeous Joanne, and clearly was just what you needed – it sounds like you have way too much going on, in and out of the kitchen! :S

  38. Damn! Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Either way, I can see how the pressure is on. I was going to do some Thanksgiving recipe prep this weekend, but I had to clean my house instead. The Thai dish looks so festive and ‘fall’ I’m tempted to say you should sneak it in to your T-day meal…

  39. This is a power-house!! It sounds awesome, another winter squash stew that I NEED to try.

  40. Juliana says:

    Wow Joanne, you always surprise me with your recipes…very creative…I would never thought in Thai tofu and butternut squash…looks delicious with coconut milk!
    Have a great week 🙂

  41. Reeni Pisano says:

    I love the Thai twist! Spicy and warming – perfect for snuggling up to on a chilly night. I’m sure everyone will love your creations!

  42. Jeanette says:

    I love Thai flavors – this sounds nice and comforting – would love to snuggle up on the couch with a bowl.

  43. Gloria says:

    omy sometimes I feel really tired be a food blogger!
    always all.people wait you make all perfect snd awesome! sigh!
    this sounds really delicious!
    your recipes always are awesome!

  44. I love the flavors here Joanne! Cooking for large groups is hard enough but with the added pressure of Thanksgiving and being a food blogger – yikes, i hear you!

  45. Laura says:

    Thanks for letting me know you had a link up going on now! I thought you might, and was meaning to come by and check. This looks fantastic! Thanksgiving is always stressful–it will be my third time doing it and it is always nerve wracking!

  46. jypsieshore says:

    Just made this with chicken instead of tofu… was absolutely delicious and perfect for winter… thanks so much!!!

  47. Tandy says:

    no extra pressure – I know that feeling! Lovely recipe Joanne 🙂

  48. I love to try different recipes. Thai food is my favourite. Once I made Thai rice and it was so delicious. I am looking forward to try this too.

  49. Johanna GGG says:

    this stew looks so so so much better than any creamed veg I could think of – I would like to suggest you just serve this for thanksgiving and if I was your family I would be mighty impressed but I suspect you are aiming at a bit of tradition 🙂

  50. This reminds me of a cooking light thai tofu and squash stew I made a while ago. Need to make it again! I will definitely be trying this version too!

  51. Shannon says:

    delicious!! i still don’t know what i’m bringing for thanksgiving… ~sigh~ perhaps i should just busy myself making this 🙂

  52. I’ve been trying to eat really healthy this week with the Philly marathon next weekend, but it’s definitely tough with Thanksgiving being so soon!!

  53. That Girl says:

    I’ll volunteer to help with the Thanksgiving menu testing!

  54. I’m really enjoying all of these winter squash recipes – what a great event!

  55. Neel says:

    I just found your site a few days ago, and I LOVE it, beautiful and so interesting, and good recipes. Wonderful, thank you.

  56. Cara says:

    My suggestion: don’t recipe test, you’re good enough not to! Maybe I am just a rebel but I hardly ever do, hehe.

    I need more quicky dinners like this in my life. Not that I’m sooo busy cooking… more like lazy lately!

  57. I’m with Cara – no recipe testing needed! You’re awesome! But I totally get the pressure. When I’m cooking for Jason and me, it’s fine. He’ll love me even if I mess up on the simplest thing ever. But when it comes to his family who know that I have a blog, I put so much pressure on myself that I mess up every single thing imaginable! It’s the worst.

    Now about this stew. Um, can you send over a bowl to LA, please? The weather is getting cold here at night (it’s still like 80 during the day) and this is sure to warm me up and fulfill all my cravings! 🙂

  58. This looks delicious–especially since I am craving Thai food right now! 😉 Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  59. Brittany says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! One of the best recipes I have ever made.

  60. […] year ago…Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew, Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Alfredo […]

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