"Cheesy" Herb-Crusted Squash by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

the past few weeks have been a little crazy around here.  frank and i have essentially been switching off weeks for work travel, all mixed in with the beginning of the holidays, and family and friends coming in to town.  life seems very, very full at the moment.  i took a trip for work at the beginning of the week with lots of mixed emotions.  it was the first time i was going to be away from amesy and something about not seeing him wake up in the morning, and not being there for his nighttime dinner-bath-sleep routine made me somewhat of a mess.  i think that a lot of times it's the anticipation of things that are far worse than what the reality is.  while i missed amesy dearly, it also felt really good to put my work hat on, be in a different city (that i can't wait to go back to one day!), and let myself sit with the idea that i was okay without him.  something about being a mom for the past 14 months has felt very safe. and so getting outside of that (wonderfully amazing) comfort was a much needed reminder that we as moms can wear two different hats and still be ok. :)

switching gears to squash, and "cheesy", crusty goodness!  so basically this recipe is roasted squash that's breaded with grain-free cracker crumbs, a good bit of nutritional yeast (giving it that cheesy quality), herbs, and seasoning.  there's also a good bit of olive oil that tops these squash chunks making the topping extra crispy and flavorful.  it's a great back pocket recipe to have around this time of year when you need a hearty side dish, or are just looking to up your squash game ;)  i highly recommend serving this with the pomegranate seeds, they definitely offer that little bit of brightness at the end of each bite.

holiday hugs, friends! xo

"cheesy" herb-crusted squash | v & gf

i used grain-free, vegan crackers and made my own crumbs (instructions below), but any cracker crumbs or bread crumbs will work well here. this recipe can also be easily doubled if you're serving more than 2-4 people.

| serves 2-4 people |

  • 1 small-ish winter squash (1-2 pounds)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cracker crumbs (i used these)*
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme and sage, plus more thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
  • fine salt & freshly ground pepper
  • chopped parsley, to serve
  • pomegranate seeds, to serve

*quickly pulse whole crackers in a food processor or blender until you get small cracker crumbs.


  1. preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. slice the squash in half, then slice into quarters.  drizzle a good amount of olive oil into the bottom of a rimmed baking dish (enough to cover the bottom generously).  
  3. whisk together the cracker crumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, herbs, salt, and pepper.
  4. brush the squash halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  sprinkle the crunchy "cheese" mixture onto each of the squash pieces, pressing the crumbs onto the sides if need be, and spray the topping with oil (or drizzle with oil)
  5. bake for 35-40 minutes, until the squash is tender, and the tops and sides are golden brown.
  6. serve the squash warm topped with chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds.  

more holiday-friendly recipes:

cauliflower kalamata dip

cauliflower kalamata dip

garlic & spice-roasted carrots w/ tahini yogurt

garlic & spice-roasted carrots w/ tahini yogurt

fruity kale salad, for a crowd

fruity kale salad, for a crowd

summer squash + banana-oat loaf w/ almond streusel (+ a giveaway!!!) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

this spring i made a vow to my fire escape that not only would i plant a garden on it, but that i would also tend to its needs and give it the kind of tlc i had deprived it of in years past.  first, i got to researching what kinds of veggie plants do well with only a few hours of direct sunlight; what i found was that most herbs, beets, kale, bok choy and many others leafy greens do really well with the kind of light i knew my fire escape would get.  so, this past may was the jump-off.  i sowed my seeds indoors to ensure that they wouldn't get zapped by a frost, placed them on a windowsill that got direct sunlight in the mornings, watched their little sprouts grow, and when the end of may rolled around, transplanted them into outside containers.  so far, we've had the pleasure of opening up our window to cut fresh basil, cilantro, parsley, and chives.  we've just pulled the first of our beets and cut the first round of squash blossoms; and in a few days/weeks we'll (hopefully) have 2 varieties of squash, as well as jalepeno and cayenne peppers :)))  

while i'm still waiting for the first squash to grow big enough to harvest, i've been buying them up at the market and using them for all sorts of things: eggie scrambles w/ black beans and tomatoes, spicy squash tacos, ratatouille, and this squash and banana-oat loaf.  a few weeks back i received a copy of smitten with squash, by amanda paa of hearbeet kitchen, and was so relieved to find so much helpful information about how to tend to squash plants (both summer + winter!).  not only was i educated, but also super inspired to use squash in so many different ways: spicy refrigerator pickles, chimichurri chicken & vegetable kabobs,  garam masala–dusted pattypans and chickpeas with tahini sauce.   it's been a while since i baked something, and was getting an itch to do so.  when flipping threw amanda's book, my eye was immediately caught by her banana oat streusel summer squash muffins. but as i was preparing to take a trip, i wanted something that would travel better and decided to adapt her recipe into a loaf.  the loaf turned out to be so incredibly delicious, with its flecks of squash, pockets of chopped nuts, a hint of spice, and a sweet + light streusel to top it all off.   totally snack and travel-worthy!

and now for the giveaway! amanda's publishers were awesome enough to give me a second copy for a lucky reader!  so, to enter, please leave a comment saying what your favorite kind of squash is, and how you like to prepare it.   the contest ends monday, july 28th at 6pm and will only be open to US and Canadian residents.  good luck everyone! xo

a summer squash + banana-oat loaf w/ almond streusel (gluten +dairy free)

adapted from Smitten with Squash 

if you don't have to be gluten free you can substitute the flours below for you flour/s of choice save for the 1/2 cup of rolled oats.  

| makes 1 loaf |

  • 3/4 brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup (GF) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons almond oil (or another light oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated squash, grated using the course holes on a box grater
  • 1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas depending on size) 
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (i used a combo of almonds + pecans)


  • 3 tablespoons (GF) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour (or flour of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt


  • preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  cut a piece of parchment to line the pan with an overhang on each side
  • prepare streusel first.  in a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients and set aside
  • in a large bow, whisk flours, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  set aside. in another large bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until incorporated.  whisk in oil and vanilla; then stir in squash and banana.  gradually add dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combined and no lumps remain
  • evenly distribute batter throughout the loaf pan and sprinkle streusel on top
  • bake in the center of your oven for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.  using the parchment overhangs, remove loaf from pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack.  let the loaf cool completely before slicing (the loaf can be stored at room temp. covered with a piece of parchment for 3-4 days) 


heirloom pumpkin bread w/ sesame seeds + orange zest (and some chocolate chips too!) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


a lot has happened in only a short week.  we booked plane tickets, train tickets, hotels, b&b's and did some research on places we would like to visit if time permitted.  within that week we were on our way to our first destination: berlin, germany.  frank needed to travel for work, so we scrounged around and made it possible for me to join him.  berlin has completely exceeded my expectations and the little that we have seen has totally altered my opinion of this city.  as a history major in college, i studied a lot about european history as well as the world wars.  so my idea of germany and berlin was somewhat couched in a historical context.  the first half of our day was devoted to getting some sleep (as we did not sleep at all on the plane ride over, enter monster-lindsey) and explore a bit.  after a power nap and a shower we took to finding some lunch.  i went off the recommendation of ashley from oh, ladycakes and her fiance who are currently travelling europe.  on their travel blog they recommended factory girl!, and it did not disappoint.  it was just the kind of lunch one needs after a long travel: a salad with torn romaine, bitter arugula leaves, pinto beans for protein and sustenance, sweet, crunchy pomegranate seeds, grapes, tomatoes, walnuts, with splashes of aged balsamic vinaigrette.  is was quite the mashup salad but it totally hit the spot!  from there we walked through the mitte section of berlin, and to the berlin wall memorial - quite overwhelming given its important role in recent history.  from there we visited the brandenburg gate, the reichstag building, and the holocaust memorial.  i'm not sure i have words yet to really describe the importance of seeing these landmarks and monuments, all while sharing these moments with my sweet husband.  i'm excited for the next few days and our european journey ahead of us.   

so, from europe i bring you an heirloom pumpkin bread.  a few weeks ago a shop (saipua, you may have heard of them before - seriously talented florist, floral designer, and soap maker!) down the street from us had an heirloom pumpkin sidewalk sale (say that 5 times fast).  frank and i stopped by and picked up a few little beauties to make the apartment feel all autumnal and festive.  not knowing what i would do with them, i asked if they were edible.  they indeed were, but i had no intention of using them for anything specific.  a couple weeks later i decided to use up a can of pumpkin puree i had in the cabinet for a banana bread recipe that i wanted to adapt for pumpkin bread.  the bread came out nicely, but i was looking to make a few adjustments to the recipe and tried a second time.  this time i spotted that beautiful knobby pumpkin with the most perfect wooden stem sitting in our windowsill and i went to chopping it up. she gave me quite the workout - my wrist and forearm was sore for a good 5 days after.  in the end it was all worth it as the homemade pumpkin puree made the second version of the pumpkin bread insanely moist - not dense - with a super velvety texture.  can i say, that this by far, has been my most favoritest pumpkin bread ever?  seriously people, give homemade pumpkin puree a shot!  

heirloom pumpkin bread w/ sesame seeds + orange zest (and some chocolate chips too!) - gluten free + dairy free

 | makes 1 loaf |


  • 1 1/2 cups heirloom pumpkin puree (instructions below) or canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup almond oil (or another vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 organic free range eggs
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup enjoy life chocolate chips (optional) 



  • preheat oven to 350° and grease and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper, extending edges up and over the sides of the pan
  • in a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, olive oil, vanilla, eggs, sugar and zest.  in a separate, and also large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, salt and spices.  using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry - stir until combined.  fold in walnuts, sesame seeds (reserve ~1 tablespoon for sprinkling the top of loaf) and chocolate chips if using 
  • transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake in the center of your oven for 60-75 minutes (rotating halfway through), until a cake tester inserted comes out clean
  • remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to let the loaf cool completely
  • loaf will stay fresh at room temperature under a sheet of parchment paper for 3-4 days

slice and enjoy!  


homemade pumpkin puree


| makes about 3 cups | 

  • 1 medium sized pumpkin or 2 small
  • coconut oil to coat pumpkin pieces

preheat oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.  carefully, cut the top off the pumpkin.  then slice pumpkin in half, cut in half once more until you have 4 pieces.  slice each of the 4 pieces into one-inch pieces.  using a pastry brush, lightly coat the flesh of each pumpkin piece.  transfer to oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, until the flesh is fork-tender.   let the pumpkin cool, about 10 minutes, before cutting.  slice or peel the skin from the flesh, and transfer to a food processor.  pulse the pumpkin, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides, until the mixture is smooth.  transfer to an airtight container or use immediately