Sunday, October 16, 2011

Butternut & Bleu Cheese Casserole

Move over, red lentils! Butternut squash is my new squeeze!

OMG, I could NOT wait til tomorrow to post this! I can barely keep my spoon out of this super tasty and super simple dish.

The Goods

2 lbs butternut squash
3/4 cup medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 cup bleu cheese (yum!)
3/4 tbsp sage
salt and pepper

1) Steam the butternut squash. I wish I could tell you how I did that. Uh...I cut it open and put it face down in the oven, on 375 degrees, for about 20 minutes. Then I peeled off the skin and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Afterwards, turn the oven up to 400 degrees for later.

2) Breadcrumbs. Cut up one piece of (multi-grain or oat-y) bread and dice it in the food processor. Makes between 1/2 and 3/4 cups. Toss the bread crumbs with about 2 tbsps olive oil. Set aside.

3) Combine squash cubes, sage, salt and pepper, and the remaining 2 tbsps olive oil in a large bowl. Coat a large oven dish with cooking spray. Pour in the squash mixture. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

4) Sprinkle the bleu cheese over the squash. Then mix in the breadcrumb mixture. Place in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the whole thing gets lightly toasted.

5) EAT IT!!!

(I found today's recipe here)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mmm Good! Kitchen Sink Soup

Ok, this soup is the cat's meow, man! Just threw whatever I had into the pot and improvised as I went along.

The Goods
1 cup red lentils
1/3 cup veggie broth
2 cups water
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 medium cauliflower head, chopped
2 large carrots
1 cup frozen spinach
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
couple dashes of cumin
t tsp coconut oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp brown sugar
Red Hot Sauce
bleu cheese crumbles

To begin, brown the onions, spices, and garlic in olive oil til the onions are translucent. Then add the water, broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Then add the vegetables and turn down the heat to allow it all to simmer. Add the brown sugar and coconut oil.

Stop here and taste the soup. If you're a little skeptical of the bleu cheese and Red Hot, then leave the soup as is. If you're up for adventure, add the last two ingredients to your liking!

Veggie broth can take over a soup, which is why I put such a small amount in here. I just wanted to give my lentils a little extra flavor. The additional cumin, garlic and chili powder are to power up my curry powder. If you like yours just fine, then omit these ingredients. Brown sugar is my new secret ingredient. I've been adding brown sugar to my curry recipes lately because it seems to thicken up the sauce and give the dishes some nuance.

I've been on a bleu cheese and red hot binge lately so, of course, they found their way into my soup. I think it works. I've made this soup twice this week and it was delicious each time!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Fall is here which means it's SOUP SEASON!!! Yay!!!!

Today I tried out a simple butternut squash soup. It didn't knock my socks off but it definitely has potential.

The Goods
1 medium butternut squash
1/2 medium onion
2 carrots
1 red potato
1-15oz can veggie broth
2 cans water
curry powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp coconut oil

First, I baked the butternut squash at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. I sliced it in half, scooped out the seeds, then put the halves face down in about half an inch of water. When it's done, the skin slides right off!

Next, I browned the onion and curry powder in some olive oil. Then I added all of the remaining ingredients. I let it simmer over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. Then I pureed everything in a (too-small) food processor.

Hmm, so it came out alright. What can I say? It gave me the feeling that it wants to go to the next level.

When I make it again, I'll use two sweet potatoes (the red was leftover), apple juice instead of veggie broth to make the soup sweeter, and I'll ditch the curry powder and use more brown sugar and possibly add raisins. Who knows, I might even add red lentils! ;)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pineapples & Meatballs!

I sure do love the part-time life, folks! I found another fun recipe for my workday lunch!

The Goods

The sauce
1 ½ cup veggie broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hot mustard sauce (in place of 1/3 cup vinegar)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

½ package of veggie meat, ground beef style
¾ of 1 bell pepper
¾ cup of sliced pineapple with juice (almost ½ of 15 oz can)

Make small (1 inch-ish) balls from the veggie meat. I added a bit of curry powder and chili pepper to give them more flavor. Brown them in olive oil, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. You’ll finish cooking them completely later on.

Combine sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. Put aside.

Lightly sauté the green pepper and pineapple. Then add the sauce and the meatballs. Cook altogether over medium heat for another 7-10 minutes, if that. Taste, add a dash of salt or whatever strikes your fancy.

I served my meatballs over brown rice and topped with shredded coconut. Yum! As you can see, I added some stuff to it because I hate the taste of it plain. I always make it with 1/2 veggie broth and 1/2 water, and this time I added carrots and raisins to go with the overall sweet flavor of the meatballs and sauce.

If you would like to use ground beef, try this recipe.