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Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

I had a lovely and very foodie indulgent vacation, so it’s definitely time to go back to healthy little lunches, including Kale Spinach Saag Paneer.  Saag Paneer is one of my favorite dishes.  I love using a blend of both spinach and kale.  I found a beautiful bunch of Redbor kale, which is a spectacular shade of purple and threw that in with a large handful of spinach.  The result is a spicy, fragrant mixture of greens.  I’m also feeling ahead of the game on the 2017 food trend for purple vegetables, since I cooked this on New Year’s Day.

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer is a fairly quick dish to put together.  The kale and spinach can be cooked while the rice is cooking.

Making Paneer

You can definitely substitute store bought paneer for the home made paneer in this recipe.  Fresh paneer takes just two ingredients, but is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight, so takes a little bit of planning.  That said, how impressive is it to be able to tell your workmates that you made your own cheese?

Homemade Paneer

I love how the paneer takes on the waffled texture of the cheesecloth.  I also am a big fan of the transformation of milk into whey and curds when an acid is added.  In this case, I use white vinegar to make my paneer.  I’ve tried lemon juice, but haven’t had the same success.  I also don’t salt it when I’m making this recipe, as the kale and spinach saag paneer is well salted from the kale and spinach.  I do, however, take the extra time to lightly brown the paneer.

The lightly browned paneer goes right into the kale and spinach.  This recipe freezes really well, so it’s a great candidate for lunch.  Kale spinach saag paneer is also a light meal and pairs well with a salad or some naan bread.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!  Hope everyone is having a great start to 2017!

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

 

Kale Saag Paneer

 

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • Paneer cheese, chopped into squares
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • For the Paneer
  • 1/2 gallon milk - whole milk works best, but you can also make this with 1% or 2%
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions

  1. If you are making paneer, start with this first. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir constantly so that the milk doesn't burn. When the milk reaches a full boil, take it off the heat and pour in the vinegar. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes so that the whey and curds have time to separate.
  2. When the curds and whey have separated, strain out the curds into a cheesecloth lined strainer. You can keep the whey and use it in place of water for other recipes. Let the curds drain for at least an hour, pressing them by putting a bowl over them with a heavy can in the bowl. Refrigerate the paneer overnight.
  3. Making the Kale Spinach Saag Paneer
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan or a cast iron skillet. Add the onions, and cook until they are soft and fragrant. Add in the kale and cook for 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 7 - 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are wilted. Add the spices from the turmeric to the salt and stir well. Add the half and half and simmer for 7 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in another non-stick skillet. Add the paneer and cook for a few minute on each side until it is browned.
  6. Serve the kale spinach saag paneer over the rice, with the paneer evenly divided between each serving.
  7. Serves 3 - 4
  8. Enjoy!
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This post has been linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.  Check out each week’s list of great recipes!

Greek Spaghetti Squash

Greek Spaghetti Squash

Greek Spaghetti Squash is the next recipe I made as I was working on eating the rest of the winter squash I bought back in October.  I lost one squash to rot, which made me quite sad (and surprised me – our garage is quite cold, so I’m not sure what happened).  I love spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta.  It’s easy to cook and great with all the traditional sauces that go well with spaghetti.  I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately about a restaurant we used to go to quite a bit when we lived in Southern Oregon called Alexander’s.  Alexander’s is a Greek restaurant that serves the most yummy hummus and falafel but they also have a pasta dish on their menu called Athenian Pasta, which is a mix of spaghetti, a creamy Alfredo style sauce, feta cheese, and garlic.  I’m salivating a little just writing about it.  I absolutely loved having this pasta for dinner the various times we’d go there, particularly in the winter.  It was totally a comfort food.

So – I had a spaghetti squash in the garage and some feta cheese in the fridge, so thought, why not try to replicate Alexander’s Athenian Pasta?  As it turns out, this version of Greek Spaghetti Squash is as yummy as the traditional pasta version, minus the carbs of the pasta.  I tossed in a little bit of rosemary just because.  I really liked the slight pine taste the rosemary imparts – it’s a great counterpart to the salty feta cheese.

This is another squash dish that survives a few weeks in the freezer without any problems.  The cream sauce can get a little grainy – but give it a few stirs and it tastes just fine.  This dish pairs well with a nice crisp green salad.  If you aren’t too worried about the carbs, it would be great with a little fresh bread as well.  And if you are eating this and not at work, it would be lovely to serve with a Greek Retsina.

greek spaghetti squash

greek spaghetti squash

Greek Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or half and half
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (optional)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese plus 3 tablespoons

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the stem from the spaghetti squash. Make a few small slits in the squash with a knife. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until the squash is soft. Cut in half and let cool.
  2. When the squash is cool, remove the seeds. Gently scrape out the flesh of the squash - it will come out in small strands that resemble pasta.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan or frying pan. Saute the garlic for about a minute and then add the spaghetti squash, cooking for two minutes. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour, a bit at a time and whisk with each addition. When all the flour is incorporated, add in the milk or half and half, the rosemary, and the ground pepper. Bring to a low boil and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of feta cheese.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash and garlic to the sauce and combine. Distribute to three or four bowls and sprinkle the remaining feta cheese over each dish. Enjoy!
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Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and 1 Year Blogiversary!

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and 1 Year Blogiversary!

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

I’m sharing my vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes recipe today on the blog, in celebration of Fix Me a Little Lunch’s one year anniversary!  It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been doing this for a full year now – it seems like just yesterday that I was setting everything up and stumbling around in WordPress.

As I was preparing to write this post, I went back in to see when I actually posted my first recipe.  As it turns out, my first recipe was posted on December 9, 2015 and it was a pasta and kale pesto recipe – no surprise there.  I love kale pesto this time of year and never say no to pasta as a comfort lunch food.  So much has happened in the past year since I started regularly blogging: I changed jobs, moving from a small rural Southern Oregon town to the growing metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon; we downsized a significant amount of our stuff to make moving easier, since I’m on a short-term contract right now and anticipate moving again in the near future; some other things happened in 2015 that were emotionally exhausting.  The blog has been a saving outlet for me – a creative safe space to explore food and food photography, and an opportunity to work with a community of bloggers I didn’t even know existed when I started.  There have certainly been challenges: as we were moving, I had to stop blogging for a bit as I simply didn’t have the time to cook.  I’ve figured out a lot of things the hard way (who knew you could easily resize photos in WordPress?  I didn’t until about a month ago).  I posted a recipe to a Food 52 contest and left out a key ingredient.  I’ve also delved into social media, starting an Instagram feed, which is so much fun, and learning the basics of Twitter.

Some really great things have happened, too: one of my all time favorite bloggers, Toni at Boulder Locavore started following my Instagram feed.  One of my photos was (finally) accepted on Food Gawker.  I posted quite a few recipes to several of my favorite bloggy linkups, including Cook the Books, Food ‘n’ Flix, Cook Once and Eat Twice, and Novel Foods.  I realized I especially love blog challenges that combine my two loves: cooking and reading, so you’ll be seeing a lot more recipes inspired by the book selections for Cook the Books this upcoming year.  I’ve had a chance to get to know one of the bloggers, Becca, from the Facebook group The Blog Passion Project better via the holiday mug exchange.  If you get a chance, check out Becca’s blog: The Fit Foodnista.  All and all, it’s been a great year.

I’m definitely looking forward to a new year of blogging.  I’ve started up a real editorial calendar, as I’m finding it helps me stay on track and post regularly.  I anticipate that I’ll have a newsletter up and running some time in the New Year and I’m going to start working on an e-book.  I’ll keep sharing recipes for lunches, of course, but will also be posting recipes for freezer meals, for cocktails, for things I’ve baked.  I’ll also keep being seasonal, as it’s pretty much the way Clay and I eat all the time.  I’m sure I’ll be traveling in the New Year, so expect more Travel Thursday posts.  Wherever I land for a job, know that I’ll be exploring the food there and posting about it.

In the meantime, my little blog has turned 1 and in celebration of this first blogiversary, I made some vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes.  Fix Me a Little Lunch is a holiday blog-baby, so I thought I would cook something that would look and taste equally good on a holiday dessert buffet.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog this year and I’m looking forward to many years of food to come.

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

vegan chocolate cherry cupcakes

blogiversary-cakes-with-candle-and-ornaments

 

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup soy milk or almond milk (unflavored or vanilla flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 dried Bing cherries
  • For the vegan vanilla bean frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk or soy milk
  • Seeds scraped from one vanilla pod

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients (from the flour to the baking cocoa) in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients (from the coconut oil to the vanilla extract) and stir until most of the lumps are out. The batter will be a little lumpy, which is fine. Grease or use muffin cup liners for either a 24 cup mini-muffin pan or for 12 cups of regular sized muffin pans. If you are doing mini-muffins, cut the dried Bing cherries in half and place one at the bottom of each muffin pan cup. If you are using regular sized muffin pans, put one dried Bing cherry at the bottom of each.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes for mini-cupcakes (check after 15 minutes).
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes for regular sized cupcakes (check after 20 minutes).
  5. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Combine the powdered sugar, soy or almond milk, and vanilla pod seeds in a small bowl and mix until they are combined. Add more powdered sugar or soy/almond milk if you desire a different consistency. Enjoy!
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This post is linked up to the Treat Petite for December, hosted by The Baking Explorer.  Check out The Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi for previous month’s petite treat recipes.

Spinach Pear Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Spinach Pear Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Spinach pear salad with Meyer lemon vinaigrette is a festive and easy salad to chase away the rainy day blues.  I’ll admit that even though I really love rain, there are some days when I miss the sun just a little bit.  Meyer lemons always cheer me up – there is something about their sunny color and floral smell that promises that summer is just around the corner.

I love salads.  I try to eat them with my lunch every day when I can, especially in the winter time when I just find myself craving greens, whether its lettuce or spinach or kale.  I think some of my near obsessiveness with vegetables comes from the two years I lived in Majuro in the Marshall Islands when I was in my late twenties.  I was there to teach at the College of the Marshall Islands, and while I loved the experience, sometimes finding local fresh food could be incredibly challenging.  The Marshalls are coral reef islands, and as such, there is limited top soil, which makes it tough to grow things like lettuce.  Most of the food to Majuro is shipped in in great big container ships that would only dock every other week.  To get things like salad greens or onions, you had to be at the store at just the right time, or otherwise crews from the purse seiners (large fishing boats) would buy out the entire stock of vegetables and fruits.  In my second year there, there was an increased focus on local foods – local tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, and so on, but even then, quantities were limited.  As you can imagine, I ate a lot of fish while I lived there and while it was abundant and tasty, I often longed for just a large green salad.  I remember, particularly, one time that a friend of a friend brought raspberries with her from another island (the island had a significant American military presence and she was able to get the raspberries from a source there).  Those raspberries were the most precious dessert I’ve ever eaten.

So, salads with all sorts of various ingredients, locally sourced, make me tremendously happy.  Since I’ve moved to the PNW, I’ve gotten much more adventurous about pairing salad greens with fruits.  This particular salad is a simple combination of spinach, pears, and walnuts, topped off with a tangy Meyer lemon vinaigrette.  Since this is Meyer lemon season, now’s the time to add Meyer lemons to everything that you can.

Spinach Pear Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Salad in a jar

Spinach Pear Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients

    For the vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots
  • Juice from 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fennel fronds or parsley
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • For the salad
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1 ripe pear
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the Meyer lemon vinaigrette in a small jar. Tighten the lid and shake vigorously.
  2. Combine the spinach, pears and walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!
  3. Serves 4
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Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Greens Pesto

Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Greens Pesto

winter-squash-stuffed-shells

I am a huge fan of all things winter squash (as you’ve probably figured out), making this recipe, a winter squash stuffed shells with greens pesto, one of my absolute favorite December lunches.  This has everything I most love about the fall and winter: the slightly sweet squash, salty cheese, pasta, and pesto made with kale, spinach and walnuts.  Since there is a small chance that there might be a little bit of snow in this part of the PNW tomorrow, this comfort food just seems perfect.

I used a combination of red kuri (my favorite) and the rest of the pumpkin puree I’d frozen earlier in the fall.  Fortunately, I still have one more pie pumpkin in the garage – I figure we still have a few more months of cold weather and might need to make some more pumpkin bread.  I also used a bit of the sage that is still growing out in the herb bed.

The pesto consists of both kale and spinach – really, you could use just about any combination of greens.  I also used walnuts, because it’s what I had on hand.  Pesto can be made out of any combination of herb or green, nuts, garlic, and Parmesan or other hard cheese.  I love to try out different combinations.  I also have started hand chopping my pesto – I think it helps the herbs or greens retain their integrity and not get mushy like they might in a food processor.  The taste is a lot closer to pesto I had in Rome many years ago, so I enjoy it for the nostalgic value, as well.

All together, the winter squash stuffed shells with greens pesto takes about forty minutes to make, and most of that time is hands off while it bakes.  It’s well worth the time.  It also makes a great freezer meal – making it very appealing for lunch.  Since it’s vegetarian, it would also make a great main dish for the holiday festivities for vegetarian friends and family.

winter squash stuffed shells with greens pesto

Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Greens Pesto

Ingredients

    For the shells:
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or similar winter squash puree
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 + 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 box of large pasta shells
  • For the pesto
  • 1 cup tightly packed greens (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot of water in a medium saucepan to a boil. Add the shells and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. In the meantime, combine the squash puree, the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the parmesan cheese, the sage, and the pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Drain the shells in a colander and rinse under cold water. When the shells are cool enough to handle, stuff each with about 2 tablespoons of the squash and cheese mixture. Place the shells in a single layer in a 9 X 13 baking pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese gets lightly browned on top.
  5. While the shells are baking, prepare the pesto. Put the greens, the walnuts, the garlic, and the parmesan in the middle of a cutting board and gently chop until the ingredients are finely diced and combined. Put the pesto in a small bowl and add the olive oil, gently combining.
  6. Serve the stuffed shells with the pesto and enjoy!
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This post has been linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meatless Monday.  Check out her great posts!

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

After days of indulging in holiday foods for Thanksgiving, it’s time for me to get back to salads for lunch, like this Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing.  One of the many great things about living in this part of the PNW is that the climate is mild enough a winter garden is possible.  This year, we have a small pot of winter lettuce, some spinach, a few cauliflower, and some lacinato kale growing.  I have to say though, I much prefer lacinato kale’s alternative name: dinosaur kale.  I can completely see this leafy green with its bumpy foliage being munched on by dinosaurs in prehistoric times.

Here’s what mine is looking like right now:

lacinato-kale

I’ll admit that the winter garden veggies don’t grow as fast as their summer counterparts, but there’s still something lovely about going out this close to December and harvesting greens for a salad, which is exactly what I did to make this kale persimmon salad with black garlic dressing.

I’m also still mildly obsessed with black garlic, so couldn’t resist seeing how it would pair with some balsamic vinegar in a dressing.  The combination is absolutely yummy, especially with the sweet counterpart of the persimmon and the crunch of the chopped almonds.

kale-persimmon-salad-with-stacked-persimmons

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

Ingredients

    For the Salad
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 2 fuyu persimmons
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • For the Dressing
  • 1 large black garlic clove (or 3 small ones)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Smash the black garlic into a paste. Add the black garlic paste, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper into a jar and close with a lid. Shake until combined.
  2. Tear or cut the kale into ribbons. Dress with two to three tablespoons of the dressing and work the dressing into the kale with your hands. This softens up the kale considerably. Chop the persimmon into a small dice and add to the kale/dressing mixture. Top with the almonds and enjoy!
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Red Kuri Squash Risotto

Red Kuri Squash Risotto

After a  holiday break and several days of leftover turkey breast for lunch and dinner, I’m well ready to go back to work on Monday and enjoy this red kuri squash risotto for lunch.  The break was wonderful – I spent a lot of time cooking (no surprise there) and some time working on the blog, reading, and putting up Christmas decorations.  I also feel like I did somewhere around 100 loads of dishes – but that might be a slight exaggeration!

I am definitely ready for a recipe with winter squash again.  I’ve been saving the red kuri squash risotto recipe for a week when I know I want something warm and cozy at lunch.  It will also be sweet relief when I’m catching up on emails and projects on Monday.  Red kuri squash lends such a subtle squash flavor.  I roasted the squash using the easy technique I also use for pumpkins (see the recipe here).  The roasted squash left me with two cups – I used one cup for the red kuri squash risotto and froze the other cup for later use.  This risotto also freezes really well, making it a perfect make-ahead lunch.  Here’s to a productive week ahead with great lunch!

red kuri squash risotto

Red Kuri Squash Risotto

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry, white wine, or dry Vermouth
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup red Kuri squash puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a simmer. Leave it simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the minced shallot and cook until the shallot is fragrant. Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the sherry, white wine, or Vermouth and cook over low heat until it is absorbed.
  3. Add 1 cup of the simmering chicken stock to the rice and stir off and on until the stock is absorbed. Continue to add 1 cup at a time, stirring and simmering, until all the stock is incorporated or until the arborio rice is to your preferred level of doneness. Take the risotto off heat and add the Parmesan cheese and red Kuri squash puree, stirring to incorporate.
  4. Serve with a a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
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Cranberry Poblano Pepper Relish

Cranberry Poblano Pepper Relish

Cranberry Poblano Pepper Relish is a spicy sweet recipe that can do dual duty as a relish for a turkey sandwich or can dress up a cheese and crackers as a holiday appetizer.  This is my homage to my dual roots: the poblano representing the Southwest where I lived for years and the cranberries my adopted PNW home.

I never gave much thought to where cranberries came from before I moved to Oregon, when I first saw a cranberry bog along the coast.  It turns out that  seven percent of the cranberries produced in the US come from Oregon from the southern coastal region.  I bought my first Oregon cranberries seven years ago from a local farm – the first time I’ve ever bought unpackaged cranberries by the pound.  This resulted in bags of frozen cranberries and lots of cranberry related preserves.

I found cranberries from Oregon this year at New Seasons, which is a PNW natural foods chain.   Rather than going crazy and buying more cranberries than I can possibly use in a season, I bought just enough for cranberry sauce and cranberry poblano pepper relish, with a little to set aside in the freezer for baking later in December.

If you are looking for a last minute Thanksgiving recipe to use up excess cranberries, this cranberry poblano pepper relish is perfect and pairs very well with leftover turkey on a sandwich.  It is also worth pinning for use in December for an easy appetizer when paired with cream cheese or brie and crackers.

Cranberry Poblano Pepper Relish

cranberry-relish

Cranberry Poblano Pepper Relish

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 poblano pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
4 teaspoons brown sugar

Chop the cranberries and poblano pepper finely.  (Alternatively, process both in a food processor to chop finely).  Add the lime, cumin, coriander and brown sugar and combine.  Enjoy!

 

 

Lentil and Delicata Squash Bowl

Lentil and Delicata Squash Bowl

lentil-and-delicata-squash-bowl

This is the weekend before the Thanksgiving food storm here in the US.  You might be (like I am) getting ready to grocery shop and start the pre-cooking process to get ready for the upcoming Thursday feast.  You might be preparing to test out a cream gravy with sausage recipe and getting ready to  buy up dozens of eggs to make pumpkin pies, Black Friday brunch, and fruitcake.  You might be contemplating making marshmallows and gingerbread as a prelude to the next big holiday, because let’s face it: Thanksgiving is the gateway holiday to all manners of foodie sin.  Seriously – how great is that?

But just in case you need a little break between the turkey and the Christmas ham, you might re-purpose some of the seasonal veggies you have lying around and make this Lentil and Delicata Squash Bowl.  Beluga lentils are cute, tiny lentils that cook quickly and have a nutritional punch.  Delicata squash is just wonderful – largely because you don’t have to peel it and can roast it up in no time at all.

I’m linking this recipe up to My Legume Love Affair #101, courtesy of Briciole and Lisa’s Kitchen and encourage you to take a look at the other legume recipes that are being added. Susan, of  The Well Seasoned Cook started My Legume Love Affair and I encourage you to check out her page.

fall-lentil-bowl-undressed

Lentil and Delicata Squash Bowl

Serves 4

1 cup beluga lentils
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 Delicata squash
2 parsnips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup almonds
2 avocados
4 hard boiled eggs

Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Pinch of salt
A few grinds of fresh pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add the lentils and salt, cover, and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are soft and water is absorbed.  Set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the squash and parsnips.  Cut the squash into 1/2 inch slices and de-seed each slice.  Cut the parsnips into cubes.  Put the squash and parsnip cubes in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for 50-60 minutes, flipping the squash and parsnip cubes once so both sides get golden brown.

Make the tahini dressing by combining the tahini, water, lemon, salt and pepper in a small bowl or jar.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.

To assemble the bowls, split the lentils between four bowls.  Divide the squash, parsnips, avocado, almonds, and hard-boiled eggs between each.  Spoon the tahini dressing over the top and enjoy!

 

my-legume-love-affair

Super Quick Hummus Red Pepper Wrap

Super Quick Hummus Red Pepper Wrap

Some weeks (and some weekends) are just busier than others.  When you need a very quick, very healthy lunch that can be prepared in about 5 minutes (give or take a minute or two), look no further than this super quick hummus red pepper wrap.  This versatile wrap can be adjusted to taste – you can change out the cheese (feta would be great) or add Kalamata olives.  You might use baby kale instead of baby spinach.  You can also use various types of hummus – whatever suites your tastes and desires.

I made this in anticipation of yet another busy, crazy travel week.  I have one day in the office and then am off again.  I needed something I could throw together quickly on Sunday between doing laundry and packing for my trip.  This wrap is very satisfying and will be perfect with a spinach and persimmon salad (no recipe there – I threw together a sliced persimmon, spinach and a little balsamic vinegar and called it a salad).  No matter how busy tomorrow morning is, I’ll be looking forward to my lunch.

Super Quick Hummus Red Pepper Wrap

Super Quick Hummus Red Pepper Wrap
Serves 4

4 flour tortillas
4 slices of roasted red pepper (either from a jar or roast your own – see below)
8 tablespoons of pre-made hummus
1/2 a log of goat cheese – about 4 ounces
Baby spinach – a handful per wrap

Spread about two tablespoons hummus on each flour tortilla.  Split the goat cheese between the tortillas.  Layer the roasted red pepper on top and then add a handful of baby spinach.  Fold up an end of a tortilla and then roll.  Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and toss in your lunch bag or box for a healthy, tasty lunch.

Enjoy!

Roasting Red Peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut each red bell pepper in half.  Place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet or cake pan.  Drizzle olive oil over the top and roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until the peppers are charred on top.  Let cool and peel.

 

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