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Home has at least 3 types of cereal for breakfast.

Home means everything from Costco that I want to buy myself but can’t because it means I have a 5 lb. bag of pita chips staring at me until they suddenly disappear… to my thighs…

Home means a bowl of holiday M&M’s.

But…most importantly, home means quality T-I-M-E with my family (including three 50+ lb. dogs) and of course some good ol’ home cooked comfort food. This may not seem like your vision of comfort food but trust me we still do meat and potatoes and the best chicken and dumplins’ EVER (well I guess more like potatoes and dumplins’ for me) but after living in the NW for over 10 years now, this is how I define comfort food.

This recipe doesn’t actually have a name since it was one of those meals that gets ‘thrown together’ and turns out amazing…. lets just call it Butternut Squash Pasta with Mixed Roasted Vegetables (clever, huh).

Here’s what you need:

Fun Shaped Noodle, Sauce, and White Wine, we call it Close to Boise. Obviously, we all took Spanish in school, not French.

Everything is from Costco. My family is a walking advertisement for that place…. Heaven on Earth.

Raw Veggies: Mushrooms, Asparagus, Red Pepper, Butternut Squash

Post Roast Deliciousness

Finished Product… Mmmm Good.

As you can tell I am still working on my food photography so don’t judge too harshly and just trust me that it DOES taste good!

Butternut Squash Pasta with Mixed Roasted Vegetables

Cook noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.

Chop vegetables into pieces of similar size. Enough to fill a medium baking sheet in one layer. You can buy the squash pre-cut (from Costco) and saves some time and danger… have you ever tried peeling and cutting one of those suckers?!

Drizzle with olive oil, dried herbs of your choice (Basil, Oregano), Johnny’s season salt and a little Garlic Salt. Roast in the oven at 450 until the squash is tender but not mushy.

Combine the squash sauce with white wine about a 1/4-1/3 c. in the pot used to cook the noodles. (The less dishes the better.) Add back in noodles and vegetables to heat through and you are ready to serve!

Serves approximately 6.

Serving suggestion: Green Salad and Artisan Bread.

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Red Lentil Coconut Curry

It was an uneventful weekend for me which I loved and needed and meant that I got to try out some new recipes.

This recipe comes from Simply in Season a cookbook my mom got me for my birthday. It highlights the best produce during each season. I recommend it.

This curry is full of vegetables and lentils (like many other curries)… Lentils are a staple in the vegetarian’s diet. They are a great source of protein and a host of other nutritious things. Downside is they are not the most appealing legume (hence the brown on brown of this curry). Even the red lentils in this recipe lose their bright orange color in cooking.

The clutch ingredient in this recipe was the sweet potato. It added creaminess to the firmer cauliflower and cabbage that really brought the Indian flavors together.

If only you could smell this. The curry powder with the coconut milk is heavenly.

And then you cut the cauliflower… and we all know how lovely that smells.

Before the Simmer Down….

Meet After (and my harvest placemats)…

The suggested serving is over rice. I served it with some steamed cabbage on the side because I like it, don’t have it all that often, and it reminds me of my grandma- the only person who ever made me steamed cabbage.

The perfect serving for me would be some fluffy naan or pita bread and some tzatziki. But I just don’t have enough time to get all of that together with a cat to raise and a 900 SqFt apartment to vacuum.

Oh yes, this curry serves 8-10 people and that is no overstatement. I live with me and me, so I will be eating this curry for the next week unless I can manage to pawn off some on a few friends… but if not, its delicious so I’ll manage.

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Total Preparation Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Number of Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

1 Large onion, minced
1 tbs. Garlic, minced
1 tbs. Ginger root, peeled and minced
2 tsp. Curry powder
1/2 tsp. Each ground turmeric, ground cumin, pepper
1/4 tsp. Ground red pepper (I just used red pepper flakes)
1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
2-3 Bay leaves
13.5 oz. Can coconut milk (Light Coconut Milk works great too!)
1/4 c. Tamari or soy sauce
1 c. Tomato sauce
2 c. Dried red lentils, rinsed (I used some brown, some red and some french green… its just what I had)
5 c. Water
1 Med. head cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2 inch florets
1 Lg. sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 Head cabbage, cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks
1-2 c. Peas (optional)

Preparation

1. In large soup pot, saute onion in coconut butter (see note below) or 1 TBS. oil over medium-high heat until transparent but not browned.

2. Add spices and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook and stir constantly for 3 minutes; do not let spices and onion brown.

3. Add milk, tamari and tomato sauce, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.

4. In saucepan, cook lentils, in water, for 15 minutes. Add, with liquid, to soup pot.

5. Add vegetables to soup pot and cook over medium heat just until tender. If using peas, add at the end of the cooking time. Serve over brown rice with toppings (optional): Indian chutneys and pickles, fresh diced pears, roasted sunflower seeds, plain yogurt.

Note: If time allows, place can of coconut milk in freezer 20 minutes before starting to cook. Open can and remove solidified coconut butter from the top to use in sauteing. (I tried this with the light coconut milk and my guess is there just isn’t enough fat in it)