Thursday, 24 March 2011

Baked Butternut Squash and Green Lentil Hot Salad

Toast Note: This recipe will make you and your kitchen smell wonderful. I keep smelling the coconut and cinnamon on my fingers, like some obscene food pervert.

What You Will Need:
{1/2} large Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed (I'm sure this would work wonderfully with sweet potato too)
{1 tbsp} coconut oil
{1/2 tsp} ground cinnamon
{2 cups} vegetable broth/stock
{1/2 cup} uncooked green lentils
{1/2} red onion, chopped
{1 clove} garlic, minced
{1/2} red pepper
{1-2 handfuls} fresh, washed spinach, chopped
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Dressing: 1/2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and salt/pepper, to taste.

Add-ins: 1/4 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

1. Rinse lentils. Saucepan: bring the stock and green lentils to boil. Reduce to simmer. If all the stock boils off before the lentils are cooked, go ahead and add a bit more water. The lentils should be plump and soft, but not mushy. 30-35 minutes approximate cooking time.

2.Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C. Peel the butternut squash and chop into small chunks. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the coconut oil (if you don't want to use the microwave, using a saucepan over a low heat is just as good). Once melted, QUICKLY mix in the cinnamon and salt and pepper (once coconut oil cools, it hardens). Then, throw in the butternut squash and massage the mixture into the chunks - yes, here in the toast kitchen, nothing is too good for our vegetables.

3. Tip into a baking tray and drool over any oil mix left in the bowl. Bake in oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, taking out halfway through to flip over the chunks and coat in oil - adjust the seasoning too if you think it needs a little more salt and pepper.

4. When the lentils are cooked, leave to drain off in a seive and heat up a saucepan. Sauté the onions for a few minutes until they begin to soften (I coated the pan in oil spray, but you can use normal oil if you like). Then add the red peppers and cook for a further few minutes. Add the lentils and minced garlic - keep stirring.When the butternut squash is nicely brown and soft, add to the mixture.

5. If you want to add in some toasted walnuts, go ahead. Just dry pan them on a low heat, but make sure they don't burn.

6. In a mixing bowl, chuck in some chopped, fresh spinach. Dollop in the mixture. Drizzle with dressing and toss until well-mixed.

Yummy windowsill food for the soul

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