girlie food for one or more

In Family, Food, friends, In My Kitchen, On My Mind on October 10, 2010 at 9:11 am

Last weekend my friend made a lovely potato florentine soup with cheddar thyme biscotti. Both of our hubbies were out of town, and we were having a moms-and-kids weekend. We decided we deserved some girlie food*. Friday night there was more girlie food and girlfriends, smoked salmon with chive cream cheese on crackers, and apple cinnamon cheddar quiche.

Ever since the temperatures have dropped and I picked up an early crop butternut squash, I’ve been wanting to make another dish on the girlie side. It’s great for a side for roasted pork or poultry, but I like it as an entree, preferably served on top of quinoa or brown rice and next to sauteed greens. I made it last night while I had the oven going for cornbread. I gave everyone a taste (and told the big kids they couldn’t watch a movie unless they tried it), but the rest will be mine all mine for my solo girlie lunch later in the week.

*If hard-pressed to define, I’d say girlie food is less meat-centric and more on the snacky-appetizery side of what our hubbies prefer to eat, even though they’d certainly agree the girlie victuals were delish.


Lentils with Butternut Squash and Walnuts

(from Gourmet January 1999 via epicurious.com)

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup lentils
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
fresh lime juice to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.Halve, peel, and seed squash and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Finely chop shallot and in a shallow baking pan toss with squash, oil, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste until combined well. Bake squash mixture in middle of oven until almost tender, about 15 minutes.Chop walnuts and sprinkle over squash. Bake squash mixture 10 minutes more, or until walnuts are lightly toasted and squash is tender.While squash is baking, in a saucepan of boiling water cook lentils until just tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain lentils in a sieve and transfer to a bowl.To lentils add squash mixture, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste and toss until combined well.
Note: I think I’ve followed this recipe faithfully only once. I’ve subbed sweet potato for the squash, pecans for the walnuts, and chives for the cilantro. I’m sure another bean instead of the lentils would be good too.

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