Monday, October 20, 2008

Becky (AKA Seriouschick)'s Two Favourites!

Here are couple of interesting sounding recipes that Seriouschick from Twitter emailed to me today. I think I'll try them out on the weekend! Thanks Becky! Anyone else have any tried and true recipes to share?

Curried Lentils with Butternut Squash

1 cup dry lentils
1 small butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Spray a two-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Pour the lentils into a deep pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and add raw chunks of the squash (go ahead and leave the skin on to add nutrients and texture to the dish). Simmer until the squash is soft (about one hour). Remove the pot from the heat, drain, and set aside. With tongs, pull out the chunks of squash and mash them roughly, skins and all, with a fork, ricer, or potato masher.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix the drained cooked lentils and mashed squash with the olive oil and all the spices (including the salt and pepper). Spoon the mixture into the baking dish. At this point, you can cover the dish and refrigerate it for a few hours or even overnight. When you're ready, bake until piping hot, which will be about 20 minutes if you're putting it into the oven right after mixing it or about 30 minutes if it's been refrigerated. Serve warm, garnished with shredded coconut if you like and with a serving of wild greens, such as blanched chard. Serves two as a hearty main dish or four as a side dish.

Calories: 530
Protein: 32 g
Carbs: 94 g
Fat: 8 g


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta-Olive Salad

2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 lb block good feta cheese , cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
2/3 cup black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (ground ok)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (ground ok)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
something cool and creamy to dollop on top: sour cream, yogurt, tzaziki... even hummus!

Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash the potatoes to rid them of any dirt and place on a foil-lined baking pan in the oven (no need to prick them). Bake until they are completely soft, about 45-60 minutes (depending on their size).

While the potatoes are roasting, make the salad. I like to toast the cumin and coriander seeds before using them, but you don't have to. If you do, just heat them in a dry pan, stirring often, until they smell fragrant and toasty. Set aside to cool, then crush them coarsely in a mortar or with the back of a heavy knife (if using whole seeds). Mix together all the salad ingredients in a bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge until the potatoes are done (add a little more olive oil if it seems dry). When they are, remove them from the oven and place on plates. Slice them lengthwise down the center, folding open to reveal the orange flesh inside. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Pile half the feta salad on each potato, and eat!

Notes: I can't get enough of this dish. The contrasts between hot and cold, sweet and salty, crunchy and soft are mind-blowing. It is so simple, so quick, and so delicious. Who decided that this versatile vegetable could only be served slathered in marshmallows?

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