cold weather = hearty food

21 Oct

HP friends, sorry to say there is nothing Harry Potter related in this post. Many more to come, though!

My life, as of late, has consisted of work and baking. LOTS of baking. Not to complain, but woman cannot live on cake alone. (You think I lie. For realz, though, if anyone could it would be me and I can’t.) Thankfully, Jim has started doing some cooking, which is great, but we mostly eat random stuff like really sad bowls of black beans and rice with salsa on top or pasta with red sauce. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you’ve got to mix it up.

Last weekend, inspired by Bianca’s recent post, I bought a spaghetti squash. Now, here’s what you have to understand. This is an annual thing, the purchase of the spaghetti squash. It goes a little like this:

Day 1: Purchase squash. “Yay, I’m so excited to make something with this!”
Day 4: Move squash from counter to sub-counter. “This dumb thing is in the way all the time!”
Day 7: Make excuses to husband about squash. “Yes, I’m going to do something with it! Geez…”
Day 14: Remember squash. “Oh, you. You’re still here, huh?”
Day 21: Become even more indignant to husband. “I am planning to make you a special meal with it. Give me some time!”
Day 28: Smell squash. “Hmm… maybe I should have put you in the pantry or fridge…”

You get the idea.

I don’t know what my problem is, there are just some things that I have no point of reference for and so I literally get freaked out when I think about cooking them. Squash is definitely one of them, as I never had any squash (save pumpkin pie, which doesn’t count) until moving to the Pacific Northwest 4 years ago, so I’m still getting my bearings.

So, after reading Bianca’s post I thought, “This is the year, dangit!” I bought the squash, came home, set it on the counter… and knew my cycle had begun again.

I knew I could break the cycle! So I decided to cook it right then and there. But what to have with it?

Something hearty and filling was in order, so I decided to make a veggie meatloaf, especially after reading somewhere online about how well they hold up in the Baker’s Edge pan. I look for any excuse to use that silly pan. Then, I decided to throw my spaghetti squash’s friend, butternut, into the mix.

Veggie meatloaf with roasted butternut squash sauce, steamed kale and, behold, herbed spaghetti squash!!! I pulled this veggie meatloaf recipe out of thin air and was so happy with it. We eagerly ate through it so quickly that I plan on making it again soon, I wanted to share it.

Veggie Meatloaf

1 medium sized onion, shredded or chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 teas. dried basil
1 teas. dried oregano
2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp. red win vinegar
1 1/2 cup cooked lentils (I used French, any variety would do)
1 1/2 cup cooked grain (I used buckwheat, brown rice would be good, too)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a loaf pan or Baker’s Edge pan.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the onions, carrots, sunflower seeds and olive oil. Process for 30 sec-1 minute, until it resembles a chunky paste. Add the herbs, soy sauce and vinegar and combine. Add lentils and grain to the processor and process until ingredients just come together, scraping down the bowl as needed. If there are still some discernible lentils, that’s fine, but overall it should be thick and paste-like. Hmm… paste-like doesn’t sound very appetizing.

Moving on, spread the loaf into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (closer to 40 for the loaf pan), depending on type of pan. The top of the loaf should brown and get a little crusty on the edges There should still be a little mush-factor if you gently push down on the top of the loaf, as it will continue to firm up as it cools.

Makes 6-7 servings, depending on how much you feel like sharing.

I know I can’t be alone- what foods are purchased with good intentions and then lurk in your fridge only to die a slow, lonely death?


11 Responses to “cold weather = hearty food”

  1. FoodFeud October 21, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    I veganized and adapted a recipe for a carmelized onion tart to include tofu, chard, and fennel.
    The tofu got tossed into a salad but the chard and fennel are wilting in my vegetable drawer as we speak…
    My excuse is that we still have leftovers to eat first but that will only hold up for so long.
    Soon! Soon the chard and fennel will be eaten…I promise?

    • Kris October 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

      I have rotted a couple of fennel bulbs in my crisper over the years, too…

    • Kris October 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

      That recipe sounds amazing, BTW. Do it! 😉

  2. Maggie Muggins October 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Fresh herbs! It never fails, I’m always so excited to use them and the next thing I know I’m wondering what that green slug in the fridge was. It’s not that I don’t want to use them, we’re just so used to having dried stuff that we forget when we have the luxury of fresh.

    • Kris October 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

      I do the exact same thing with fresh herbs.

  3. Courtney October 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    OMG, I freaking LOVE spaghetti squash! I can’t believe you don’t eat it once you buy it, lol. It is sooooooo good…didn’t you love it?!?! I am actually eating some as I write this for dinner, lol!


    • Kris October 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

      I know, I know. Shame on me. But I have seen the light!

  4. Vegease October 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Eggplant. I always buy too much. I have plans to make eggplant lasagna and baba ganouj and seasoned eggplant slices for sandwichs and over estimated the amount of eggplant I need.

  5. Marcia October 28, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    Would you mind sharing the recipes for the roasted butternut squash sauce and what herbs you used with your baked spaghetti squash?

    • Kris October 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm #


      Thanks for the comment. They weren’t really recipes, so much as they were loose cooking guidelines. 🙂 For both squash, I halved them and placed them, open side down, on a pan and roasted them until tender.

      For the butternut squash, I sauteed up 1/2 an onion and about 1/2 teas of rubbed sage and some sea salt, then combined that mixture with the butternut squash and pureed it. Done.

      For the spaghetti squash, I sauteed some dried basil and oregano (about 3/4 teas each) in some Earth Balance and then added the spaghetti squash and tossed it in the mixture.


  6. Josiane October 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Isn’t it great when a recipe you pull out of thin air turns so good? That meal made for a gorgeous plate – a welcome change from the rice and beans or pasta with tomato sauce, I guess!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: