October 17, 2010

A Savory Vegan Lunch

I have been doing pretty well lately with eating primarily vegetarian/vegan for breakfasts and lunches, and actually have been doing even better at making vegetarian dinners for me and meat meals for the hubs. While I do still enjoy milk, cheese, eggs and well, gosh I can't seem to commit to giving up pork, red meat or seafood yet - I'm making small strides. And I do really enjoy and feel better when I decrease my meat consumption.

Last week I enjoyed a great, hearty vegetable and bean soup for lunches at work. This week we're going to be cool all week so I wanted something really filling and warm - since I do much better during the day/night with snacking when I eat a warm and savory lunch at work.

I made a delicious lentil and butternut squash salad for lunches this week - but it would be fantastic for dinners too, or even to take to a fall party.

Easy to make, satisfying, warm, and really makes you feel like you're capturing every essence and taste of fall in one simple and clean meal!

Lentil and Butternut Squash Salad
Serve warm

1/2-3/4 cup French Lentils -rinsed, drained and placed in a pot of water to boil with 1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 small onion
fresh sage - about 10 leaves
pepper, salt, olive oil.
1/2 cup dried cranberries

While your lentils are boiling, peel and diced your root veggies placing them in a pan to roast in the oven. Slice your onion in to half circle slices and separate the pieces. Shred your sage - leaving about 4 leaves for lagter, toss with the root veggies and onion. Drizzle with 1 T olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and about 15 turns of fresh ground pepper. Place this mixture in a 375 degree oven and cook - stirring once or twice until everything is just tender - about 30 minutes.

When the lentils are tender, drain, rinse and place in a bowl to let cool. Your lentils should be firm and not mushy. French lentils are firmer than regular brown lentils and hold their shape tremendously well. They are more rounded than regular lentils and are black in color. You can find them in the bulk section at Whole Foods. If you can't find these, regular lentils would be fine just do not over cook them!

Once your roasted roots are done, remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Once cool, toss these in with the lentils and stir to combine. Add about 10 more crank of black pepper, the rest of your sage and the dried cranberries. You can add another T or so of olive oil here but if you're not serving it right away, omit the extra olive oil here, you can add it when you eat it.

So tasty and delicious!! Enjoy!

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