Last night, as a side dish to our roast, I made butternut squash. I roasted it in the oven with sage, oil, salt, pepper, and then finished it with cheese. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling it last night. Something didn’t quite taste right. Maybe I didn’t salt enough or maybe I was just feeling stressed about the evening and decided to take it out on the poor, unsuspecting squash. Disappointed, I just put it aside, and decided to make soup out of it later.
After the dishes were done and kitchen cleaned, I sauteed onion and garlic, and then added the squash cubes and simmered everything in stock for an hour or so, smashing the orange flesh against the sides of the pot until they were broken up. I seasoned it to taste, simmered it a bit longer, then put it in the fridge to be dealt with today. Today, when I thought about what I was going to do with it, I decided that I wanted to add some protein and substance to it instead of pureeing it and calling it good. I plan to take it for lunch this week to work and I need something more substantial to get me through the day. I hunted through my cabinet, peeked through various mason jars I have on my counter filled with broken pieces of pasta, lentils of all colors, beans, and barley–eventually, I stumbled upon a jar of assorted legumes. It has two types of lentils in it, white beans, garbanzo beans, split peas–so many different types of dried legume. Definitely too many to count. So I settled on 10(?).
The first thing I did with these legumes was soak them in water for awhile. Then I added them to my mashed butternut squash mixture with more stock. Now it’s simmering on my stove until the beans are tender.
It’s not much to look at, but it’s the perfect soup to take to work this week!
Henry got up this morning at 6:30.
We went round and round before bed last night–one of those arguments that never go away, but just need to be accepted. In those moments, when our backs are against the wall, we are so incredibly similar. Stressed. Tired. Defensive. But sleep always smooths over the rough edges of the night and circumstances really do seem a bit brighter in the morning.
He got up at 6:30 and didn’t say anything. I was awake, too. I stayed in bed and tried to listen to what he was doing. I heard the rustle of coffee filters. The water from the tap ran. A pan scraped against the stove’s heating element. I got up and stood in the kitchen, watching him with bleary, puffy eyes. He was at the stove, making me eggs in a basket. He said: I was going to bring it to you in bed, but you got up. He handed me a cup of coffee and we started our day better than we ended it.
The kids got back today and it’s our week with them. We cleaned and shopped today and by the time lunch rolled around, we were starving. This is what I rustled up.
- one onion, diced
- two cloves of garlic, minced
- a handful of baby carrots, chopped
- one stalk of celery, diced
- 4 cups of chicken stock or veggie stock
- 1/2-2/3 of a cup of red lentils…estimation…I just poured “some” in
- 2 cups of rotini whole wheat pasta…more estimation
- tsp of fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper
- bay leaf
- 8 ounces no salt added tomato sauce
Saute veggies until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Add rosemary. Add lentils, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils soften and thicken the soup. Add the pasta. I am not certain how much I added. The pasta absorbs a lot of liquid, so if you want it soupier, add less. Boil until the pasta is al dente. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Delicious, quick, healthy, and a beautiful color. Perfect for a chilly September day.
Day two of following a meal plan: success. I made this delicious lentil soup, and Henry grilled some corn on the cob. Perfect.
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 large or two small red potatoes, diced
- five cups stock
- large handful of cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, chopped
- one onion, diced
- several cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- salt and pepper
Add the lentils, stock, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes to a pot and simmer until the lentils are tender. Maybe 40 minutes and everything was soft and creamy.
In the meantime, saute onion, garlic, and spices until brown. Don’t be afraid to get color on the onion. It just adds so much to the final soup.
When the lentils are soft, add the onion mixture, add more water if you need to, and simmer to your heart’s content. Some might want to puree this, but I just left it chunky. We finished it off with sriracha, but cilantro and lime would have been awesome, too.
And to finish the night: We are making watermelon wine! Wish us luck…
I was considering doing a full post on these veggie burgers I am making, but I’m really just throwing stuff together and I’m not quite sure if they will turn out. But in case they do–in case they are delicious, here is the game plan:
- Roasting: zucchini, two tomatoes, half an onion, half of an orange bell pepper. They are salted, peppered, and olive oiled. When they are done, I will let them cool and chop finely. Most recipes say to use a food processor, but I don’t have one.
- A couple cups of black beans I cooked earlier in the week, seasoned with cumin, Mexican oregano, etc.I mashed ’em up good.
- 1 cup barley cooked with 1/3 cup red lentils.
- Bound together with an egg and toasted cornbread.
Inspiration: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats did an amazing vegan burger about a month ago. Check it out.
I haven’t been blogging lately, I know. Lots going on over here. Bought a new car, trying to sell old car, busy with work…and in a short while, I’ll be moving. As things settle down, I will be blogging more. Hope you are all having a great spring! It’s beautiful in Eugene today! 🙂
Dal Makhani from Indian Simmer. This is easily one of my favorite new food blogs. Please check it out. Gorgeous pictures, delicious recipes–this is my go-to blog for authentic and user-friendly Indian recipes.
Asparagus Salsa I have never seen a recipe like this before. And, this original recipe is from Sunnyside, Washington, where I grew up. It’s a small community in the Yakima Valley. Small world.
Bucatini with Rita’s Spicy Baby Octopus Sauce I have tried my hand once at cooking cephalopods and it was disastrous. This inspires me to try again.
Pad See-Ew from She Simmers. If Indian Simmers is my new go-to Indian food blog, She Simmers blows me away with her beautiful and graceful Thai recipes.
The husband and I just got back from grocery shopping. I’m not an Easter or Jesus-y person so I really didn’t plan on making an Easter dinner, per se, or doing anything special, but old habits die hard and I remember my mom always making an Easter dinner for us, so I caved and bought a whole chicken.
So, along with a roasted chicken, I will also make:
Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos
Red Lentil Hummus
Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan
I’m thinking I will make the taco filling and stick it in the fridge for later in the week. It looks like a super easy and delicious vegetarian recipe–and I’m sure it will reheat nicely. We bought beets from the Saturday Market, and Jeff’s friend gave us some red chard, so I will mix the beet greens and chard for this dish.
The red lentil hummus will be good for an easy and light weeknight meal. We picked up some pita and fresh vegetables to go along with it.
Lastly, the farro salad sounds like it will accompany my chicken well. Except, I couldn’t find farro at the MoC, so I bought some wild rice instead. I bought some mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, and lion’s mane) at the market yesterday, too, so I will use those and make the salad with rice.
Let’s see…anything else? I also have some leeks and the beet root in the fridge that I will need to use as well. The leeks would go good with the chicken and the beets can be roasted in the oven, too.
Stay tuned for pictures and the process later today.