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Category Archives: Lunch

Day 7: Squash and Garlic Pasta

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Last night it finally happened.  I got sick of pumpkin.  Maybe I’m just sick of making myself dinner.  There are few squash short cuts since it’s such a seasonal meal.  Nothing I thought about making sounded good or appealing and squash takes a while to cook so I was meh and disheartened.  But alas, I triumphed and made a pasta dish based off of one from Locavore Girl in the City.

Ingredients:
(1) acorn squash
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
grapeseed oil
1/2 lb green beans
crushed red pepper flakes
cumin
salt
pepper
balsamic vinegar
nutmeg
1/2 box pasta (I used tricolor rotini)
parmesan cheese

Squash and Garlic Pasta

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half, put face down into a baking pan with about 1/4 inch of water.  Bake squash for 40 minutes.
2. When there is about 10 minutes left on the squash, start boiling water.  Add pasta once boiling.
3. Add about 1 – 2 tbsps grapeseed oil into a frying pan.  When hot, sautee garlic and oil.  When the onions start to soften, add spices (you can swap those out with whatever you’d like.  And we know I don’t measure spices, so … sorry).  I liked the spice from the red pepper and the nutmeg brings out a lot of the squash flavor.  Add green beans and continue sauteeing.
4. When squash is done let cool before scooping out insides.  I score cubes into the squash and then scooped out the cubes.  Add squash into the frying pan and sautee about 2 minutes.
5. Add pasta to frying pan just to get the pasta warm since it’s already cooked.  Top with balsamic vinegar to taste.  Top with parmesan cheese

I was meh about the meal.  It was good, not great, but I wasn’t in the mood for it.  And I don’t think I like the consistency of acorn squash, so maybe it needed to cook a little longer or maybe I just should’ve used a different type of squash.  Too bad, because this is also lunch today.  I thought about sauteeing the onions and garlic in butter instead of oil, and maybe that would have been better with the squash.  Some rosemary, thyme, or sage also would have helped.  Not a fail, just a work in progress.

Day 3: Pasta Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

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I had a ton of salad dressing left over from yesterday’s lunch so I wondered what else I could do with it besides just make another salad.  I guess I kind of made another salad, but this time a pasta salad.  It seemed like a good dressing alternative to plain ol’ oil and vinegar and certainly better than mayo.

Ingredients:
Pumpkin vinaigrette
1 cup pasta, cooked (I used tri-color rotini.  Because it’s fun)
1/2 cup broccoli florets (I used frozen)
goat cheese crumbles
sliced chicken breast (I used sliced lunch meat so turkey or ham can be substituted, or chunks of grilled chicken would work well too)
1/4 cup cannolini beans (I just opened a can and spooned some beans out)

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Directions:
1. Boil pasta.  About 1/2 way through I added the frozen broccoli florets to the boiling pasta water.
2. If you haven’t made the vinaigrette yet, make the vinaigrette while the pasta and broccoli cook.
3. Drain pasta and broccoli and run under cool water to cool down so the pasta and broccoli aren’t too hot to be pasta salad.
4. Add whatever other ingredients you want, in my case cheese, meat, and beans.
5. Dress salad, mix up, and enjoy!

Day 2: Pumpkin Vinaigrette

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After last night’s not-so-vegetable-filled dinner, I woke up this morning wanting something more vegetable-packed for lunch so I decided to make myself a salad.  On a day when I’ve put more forethought into my lunch I’ll probably add some roasted pumpkin to a salad (with walnuts and goatcheese?  Maybe a raspberry or champagne vinaigrette?  I already can’t wait!).  So this morning as I walked Ginger, who is clueless to my pumpkin endeavor, I started looking up some pumpkin salad dressing recipes.  I went with one based off of one from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1 clove crushed garlic, or what I estimated that to be because I buy pre-crushed garlic

Directions:
Whisk all of the ingredients together and dress to taste.

I tasted a little bit this morning before I put it on my salad and it was pumpkiny but balanced well with the spices, honey, and vinegar so the pumpkin wasn’t overpowering.