Roasted Curried Squash and Chickpeas with Lemon Tahini Dressing

It was only a couple weeks ago when I discovered that I had been missing out on butternut squash. After making a Butternut Squash Soup with Apple (and sneaking a piece of squash before blending it into a soup), I wondered how I had gone so many years without ever cooking with this vegetable.  So there I was, on a mission to find some awesome butternut squash recipes. Mission accomplished.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe posted on a food blog I follow called Lattes and Leggings. Check her out. Her recipes are incredible. This one is a spinoff from the original recipe posted by Food & Wine.

Just like my love-hate relationship with spaghetti squash, butternut squash also likes to give me a hard time. If you can get past the peeling and cubing, the rest is simple. After cutting off the ends of the squash (and nearly cutting off my fingers in the process), I peeled the squash with a regular potato peeler. Nothing fancy. You`ll want to be sure to remove all of the skin and any green bits underneath. Your final product should be light orange.

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Cutting the squash in half and still being able to blog about it with all 10 fingers is always an accomplishment. On the plus side, this almost counts as an arm workout for the weekend.

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Luckily, once you`ve made it to this step, it`s all smooth sailing. Remove the seeds from the squash and get ready to chop!

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Dice the squash into small cubes and transfer them to a large bowl. The hard part is over!

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Add 1 can of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, and a few shakes of garlic powder, basil and parsley. Add a dash of ground black pepper and mix together.

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Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook on 375 for about 40 minutes or just until the squash is tender.

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Meanwhile, you can start preparing the lemon tahini dressing.

In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of tahini and 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk together until blended well.

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Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and top with a generous amount of parsley flakes. Add more tahini until you have your desired thickness. Finish with garlic powder and pepper to taste.

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When the squash and chickpeas are done, top with a light drizzle of the dressing. This dish can be eaten hot or cold.

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I promise, this will not last long.

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Roasted Curried Squash and Chickpeas with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Ingredients:squash 12

Curried Squash and Chickpeas:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 (15oz) can of chickpeas
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp parsley, basil and garlic powder
dash of pepper

Lemon Tahini Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp parsley
garlic powder and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375. Peel the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut into small cubes.
2. Add to a large bowl with chickpeas, olive oil, curry powder and spices. Mix well and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Cook for about 40 minutes or just until the squash is tender.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and water in a small bowl. Gradually add the olive oil and spices and continue to whisk until well blended. Add more tahini for desired thickness.
5. Serve squash and chickpeas hot or cold with a drizzle of the tahini lemon dressing on top.


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Lasagna Rolls with Spinach and Ricotta

Put a new spin on lasagna with these lasagna rolls stuffed with ricotta and spinach.

lasagna 3Ingredients:
Lasagna rolls:
1 package of lasagna noodles
1 container of ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese
grated cheese (mozarella, cheddar or both)
1 egg
fresh spinach, chopped
dash of parsley, pepper and garlic powder

1 tbsp olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 can of tomato paste
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
generous amounts of basil, oregano and parsley
dash of crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy), pepper and garlic powder
1 bay leaf

Note: If you don’t want to make your own sauce, you can use a jar/can of your favourite ready-made pasta sauce.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the entire package of lasagna noodles (usually about 12). Cook until almost ready.
2. Meanwhile, get started on the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a separate pot on medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until tender.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Bring to a boil then let simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and egg. Mix until lightly blended.
5. Add generous amounts of spinach, shredded cheese and parmesan cheese. You can add as much or as little as you want, depending on how cheesy you want it to be. Add the parsley, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.
6. Remove the lasagna noodles from the pot and drain under cold water. Place the noodles on a flat surface and run a line of the cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle. Roll up each noodle.
7. Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 pyrex dish. Add the lasagna rolls on top, open side faced down. Top with the remaining sauce and parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until lasagna noodles are soft and rolls are heated through. Add shredded cheese on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes or  until cheese is completely melted.

Bonus: You can use the same recipe to make stuffed pasta shells.

lasagna 1

lasagna 2