Saturday, September 13, 2008

A New Easy Recipe for Lunch

Last night I dug out an "old" cookbook that I have ignored for quite a while: The Whole Food Markets Cookbook. I was surprised to find a lot of great and intriguing ideas for lunch, which is the main meal that I struggle with (only because I refuse to struggle with breakfast, yet).

Here is a recipe that I tried today, and it wasn't a whole lot of work (other than skinning the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler...which wasn't bad). The red pepper flakes gave it a depth of flavor, but not too much actual six year old even liked it. I ended up being able to cut a few things up, throw it in the oven, put a pot of water on the stove, and then forget about it for a while, which is exactly what I wanted. The squash itself would make a great dinner side, too, without the pasta.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Penne Pasta

1 medium butternut squash
1 1/2 cups diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 TBSP. olive oil
1 TBSP. lemon juice
2 tsp. salt

1 pound penne

1/2 cup minced parsley (actually, I forgot the parsley)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel the butternut squash (a veg. peeler works best). Using a heavy knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and discard them. Dice the squash into 1-inch cubes (you should have about 4 cups). Place the squash cubes in a large mixing bowl, and add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, lemon juice, and the salt. Toss the ingredients well. (RPW: I did all of this in the roasting pan, why dirty another bowl??)

Place the mixture in a large roasting pan, and roast for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The squash should be firm-tender, not mushy.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil Add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes, until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and place it in a large serving bowl, mix in the cooked squash mixture, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. (RPW: or do as I did, in my dishwashing-despising way, put some of the pasta into each bowl, and spoon the butternut squash over it, and let everyone put on their own cheese!)

--the notes suggest topping it with some toasted pumpkin seeds, "the crunchy texture pairs well with the sweet squash." We didn't have any, so the kids tried sunflower seeds, and Maggie gave her thumbs up to that as well. I put a little coconut oil on mine, and that was really good, too, without changing the flavor. It fed four of us comfortably.

So this cookbook is going to get a lot of work this week, while we continue to grow in this, and also enjoy our last month of the farmers market for six months.


elephantschild said...

I continue to be astonished and shamed by the plethora of moms I know who actually COOK lunch, or even feel they should.

I don't cook lunch. Sandwiches for us, if I can get Sparkle to eat anything at all.

Does that make me a Slacker Mom? :)

Dakotapam said...

I don't cook lunch either. I rarely even eat it...if I am at work I pop into the cafeteria for whate4ver someone else has cooked. Our family has cold sandwiches, or canned soup, which they make for themselves.

I love to cook, but alas, I don't love it three times a day.

I'm forever impressed by moms who cook real lunch, and I always envied farm families!

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Now see, here's my warped sense of logic...

First of all, I'm finicky. There are very few sandwiches that I actually like...and one can only take so much peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish.

Second, I have health issues. I shouldn't be doing sandwiches, really. I react to wheat. With something like this, I can leave out the pasta, and I also don't think making a big pot of soup that will last three to four days is tough, either. So while I am not very good at avoiding wheat, the idea is to decrease the amount of wheat in my diet, not increase it -- which sandwiches will do.

Third, since I don't like sandwiches, and they are technically bad for me, then my rationale jumps immediately to "well, if I am going to do sandwiches, which I hate, I might as well do Taco Bell or Sonic, which I like, and who make better iced tea than I do."

I know it is warped, but really, if my situation (weight, health)is going to improve, I pretty much do have to cook.

Karen said...

I've been looking for a way to add squash to my children's diet. Thanks for the thorough directions! I'll probably make this some time this week. Karen