Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Lunch: Chickpeas and Quinoa (again) with Delicata Squash

You may be able to detect a formula with my weekly lunches by now: some kind of whole grain, some kind of legume, a couple of veggies, and one or two "extras" like cheese or nuts. Add in a simple vinaigrette and you have lunch!

Luckily, it's a formula that allows for a lot of variety, so I don't get bored with it. The star of this week's show was a lovely delicata squash - one of my favorites. Here is what I did with it:
  1. Peel your squash with a vegetable peeler. Unless of course you have a thick-skinned squash, in which case you will need to use a sharp knife. Delicata tend to have a thinner skin so a veg peeler works well, which is one of the reasons I like them so much.
  2. Cut the peeled squash in half, lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. If you are not lazy, you can free the seeds from the squash innards, parboil them in salted water, and roast them! But this was a small squash (with a small number of seeds) so I decided it wasn't worth the effort.
  3. Cut the squash halves into slices, then cut the slices into 1/2" chunks. 
  4. Toss the squash chunks with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I used about 1 tbs. each for my small squash) and a bit of salt and pepper. 
  5. Spread squash chunks on a foil-lined baking sheet (again, laziness requires easy cleaning) and place in a preheated 375F oven for about 20 minutes. I usually check on them halfway through and turn them over to encourage even browning. 
  6. Try not to eat them all in one sitting!

And here is the finished product: baby greens, quinoa, canned chickpeas, toasted hazelnuts, a sprinkle of feta, the lovely squash chunks, and my favorite balsamic-mustard vinaigrette. Yum!!

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