Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lentils with Roasted Delicata Squash-aka Using up Pantry Ingredients #1

In the previous post I mentioned how I tend not to make new year's resolutions.  Well scratch that, I just made one!  While doing some much needed after-the-holidays cleaning, I saw the mess in my pantry took stock of my pantry ingredients, and noticed how many items I have accumulated.  One thing you might not know about me is that I am a compulsive buyer, I see something that tickles my cooking brain and buy it (well...except for things that are over-prized as I am a "cheap" compulsive buyer).  Then life takes over, the item goes into the pantry, and I often forget  about it, and sometimes I end up finding the item when it has pasted its prime so it goes into the compost (not really green, isn't it?)   Wishing to spend money more wisely this year, and decrease the waste, I decided to not buy any more ingredients until my pantry is completely clean, which will take a while I imagine.  I then thought that it would be a great way to start the year blogging the dishes I make with those ingredients, which are for the most part really healthy.  

I started with lentils, a great favorite of mine, a powerful ingredient, and versatile too.   Since I also had a wonderful delicata squash on hand, I used that one up as well. 

Not such a great photo of a beautiful squash

I love making lentils and eating them with roasted squash, so here is the first dish of the year.  I am sure most of the dishes I will make will not be new to you, but if I can introduce some new great healthy ingredients, or a new way of cooking them,  my life as a blogger will be fulfilled.

I wish the photos were better, I took the photos at different times of the day and in different light conditions.   I need to learn how to be more professional and set up a photo shoot so I can take pictures at the same time.  That could be another new year's resolution, don't you agree?


Lentils with Roasted Delicata Squash

1/2 cup lentils (I used the little french lentils)
1 medium delicata squash (or any other squash you prefer)
Sage leaves, chopped fine
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Smoked cheese of your choice to grate on top (I used mozzarella)

Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Cook the lentils in plenty of water until tender (with lentils is not necessary to soak them overnight, but if you are inclined to do so they will cook faster).
While the lentils are cooking, cut the squash lengthwise (delicata squash doesn't need to be peeled), remove the seeds and cut in slices.  Roast until soft.  
Drain the cooked lentils and sauté them with 1 TBS olive oil, add salt to taste.
Sauté the squash slices with 2 TBS of olive oil, the chopped sage leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the lentils with the squash and top with some smoked cheese if you are using it (amount is personal, I used about 2 tablespoon).
Makes two servings.


natalia said...

Allora...I have the same pantry problem, the pictures are great and I should build a photo set as well (if you find out how we could do it together!)che ti sembra di questa ? ! Ti mando tantissimi baci

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lovely clicks! That is the kind of dish I love.



Sandra said...

Laura, you make the sort of dishes I love, but I don't make at home since my "little kids" won't eat them. I really hope that they will develop a taste for different foods as they grow up (still in the mac and cheese stage). This looks like something a fine restaurant serves up proudly!

Dewi said...

Lentil is my husband favorite legume. Will keep this recipe in my mind. Thanks Laura!

Simona said...

Not sure why you are disappointed about your photos. I find squashes very tricky to photograph and in fact I tried with a delicata today and basically gave up. I know that the skin is edible, but have never tasted it. Nice combination with the lentils and I like the addition of smoked cheese.

Laura said...

Natalia, ho tanta luce a casa mia, il problema e' che facendo le foto in momenti diversi la luce e' cosi' diversa che poi si vede nelle foto. Mi piacerebbe avere lo stesso set up per ogni foto. Ho visto la scatola per le foto ma sembra sempre troppo artificiale. Un caro saluto anche a te.

Rosa, thanks for stopping by.

Sandra, I cook those things for just me or my husband. Keep introducing more foods though, one day they will eat them.

Dewi, I love the two together, and the smokiness of the cheese works great.

Simona, le foto non mi sono riuscite come volevo, la luce e' cosi' diversa in tutte e tre perche' le ho scattate in punti diversi e in momenti diversi. Idealmente le avrei dovute fare allo stesso momento se mi fossi preparata meglio. Ho cercato di fotografare delle zucche tantissime volte, e impossibile, non so perche'. Ho copiato l'idea da white on rice couple, questo e' il mio trucco, copiare....;o)

Ilva said...

What a great idea this is, I should do it too and I agree with Simone, why aren't you happy with the photos? They are gorgeous!

Laura said...

Ilva, you know when you look at a picture over and over and over again? I guess that is what happens to me and all of the sudden I am so used to it that I can't tell whether it is a good photo or not. I guess my problem with the photos is that they were taken with different light and don't look cohesive. Thanks for your feedback, it means a lot!


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