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!
- 1 pound of pasta
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- half of large onion, or one small onion, diced
- lots of torn basil
- fresh shredded mozzarella
- Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, wine to taste
Saute the onion and garlic until soft. Salt them a bit. Add tomatoes. Simmer for awhile, then taste. If it’s too salty because your canned tomatoes were salty, then add a pinch of sugar and a splash of wine or balsamic vinegar. That’s my trick for homemade tomato sauce. They always taste a bit off at first, but with the right combination of salt, sugar (or honey), and vinegar or wine, it’ll be amazing. Simmer, simmer. Add some torn basil. Boil your pasta half as long as you normally would because it’s going to be baked in the oven.
When the pasta is done enough, drain it, and add sauce. Grab a casserole dish and layer the pasta, mozzarella cheese, and basil until you’re out of ingredients. Sprinkle the top with a generous amount of Parmesan.
Cover and bake in the oven on 350 for 20-30 minutes. Take the cover off, crank up the oven, and brown the cheese after your 20 or 30 minute mark.
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! 🙂
I am feeling completely uninspired on the cooking front these past couple days. I think this whole week has been uninspired. I spent my whole vacation waiting for my vacation to happen–and now, here I am: Saturday afternoon. I need to do chores, cook for the week, and do some lesson planning before school starts on Monday. Break is, effectively, over.
The recipes I’ve decided to make this week come from, easily, one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. This trio of Indian recipes looks really good. The first recipe is a sour cabbage salad that highlights lemon juice and whole mustard seeds. I’ve never bought or used mustard in its seed form, but it was cheap at my local supermarket, so I definitely won’t shy from it if it comes up again in recipes. The next is a simple, yellow daal–and if you recall, I need to use up my grains and legumes, so this recipe looks perfect for that purpose. Finally, I’ll make a black-eyed pea curry. I’m looking forward to moving towards a more vegetarian diet again, and I think these three recipes will be a good transition back into meat free meals.
I also plan to make this bean salad, which is used as a sandwich filling. I think I’ll use a different type of beans instead of garbanzo beans, though, in this recipe. Garbanzo beans tend to taste like wet dog to me.
P.S. I bought some kimchi from a local Asian foods market in Eugene. I think they make it on-site. I’ve never had it before. I’m pretty excited.