Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Onions with Tahini Sauce

Roasted butternut squash, cauliflower and red onions with tahini sauce, za’atar and pine nuts: otherwise known as my new favourite meal.  And it’s vegan and gluten-free, and it’ll make you feel good on a rainy fall evening – at least it did for me!  And I’m really looking forward to my leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  I got the idea for the recipe from a  Yotam Ottolenghi recipe.  I added the cauliflower because I think it is perfect with tahini sauce, and I changed the cooking method a bit, cooking the squash before cutting it, because it’s easier to cut when it’s soft.  I also used my tahini recipe instead of his.

I served mine on quinoa to make it a filling meal, but it would be great on a bed of greens too.  Feel free to leave out the za’atar and pine nuts if you want, and garnish with some fresh pomegranate or parsley.

What you need:

1 butternut squash

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 red onions, cut into large chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

For the tahini sauce:

1/4 cup tahini

1/2 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

dash of hot sauce

1/4 cup of warm water, or as needed

For the za’atar: (there are so many ways to make this, so make it up as you go along)

1 tablespoon ground sumac

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground anise or fennel seeds

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.  To roast the veggies, first cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place the two pieces face down on a baking sheet and roast for about half an hour or until you can pierce it easily with a knife.

2. Put the onions and cauliflower pieces on another baking sheet, and toss them with the olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Put them in the oven with the squash for about 25 minutes.  About half way through the roasting, give them a stir.  The cauliflower should be a little browned when it is done.

3. Combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce.  Add the warm water gradually, adding enough until the sauce is a consistency you like.  I like mine pretty liquidy, so I can drizzle it.  You can also adjust the lemon and hot sauce to your liking.  I usually add a little more lemon.

4. To make the za’atar just combine all the spices.  If you have them whole and want to grind them, it’s going to be even tastier.

5.  To serve, cut the squash into chunks and serve it on a bed of quinoa or greens, then top with some onion and cauliflower.  Drizzle with the tahini, pretty liberally, then sprinkle on some pine nuts and za’atar.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemony Kale with Onions, Garlic and Pine Nuts

Another quick, easy and delicious way to serve up the super-food kale!  Kale is one of the few things I can harvest from my garden year-round, so it’s always good to find some new ways to cook it up.

What you need:

1-2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

olive oil

1/4 of a red onion, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 bunch kale, roughly chopped

1/2 a lemon

salt, to taste

What you do:

1.  Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the sliced onions and cook until they are browned.

2.  Add the garlic, cooking briefly, then add the chopped kale.  Toss the kale with tongs a few times until it is wilted and the onions and garlic are distributed throughout.

3.  Squeeze on a little lemon, a little salt too, and then toss the pine nuts in.

Serve it right away!

Spaghetti Squash with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

I love the idea of spaghetti squash, but I find it doesn’t have quite enough flavour on its own.  As my friend Meredyth says, sundried tomatoes make everything better.  I feel the same way about olives.  This easy recipe isn’t shy on taste, and it is super healthy and all-vegetable.  And  nut.  Okay, and olives are actually a fruit . . . but you get the point.

What you need:

1 spaghetti squash

6 sundried tomatoes

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped basil

1/2 clove garlic, finely diced

about a dozen kalamata olives

1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

What you do:

1.  Cut the squash in half, scoop the seeds out and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes.

2.  While the squash is baking toast the pine nuts.

3.  When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle.

4.  Combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, basil, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic and basil.

5.  Remove the squash from the shells by scraping with a fork.  Add the other ingredients to the squash.

Ready, easy and yummy!