For the past two weeks I have been locked out of my kitchen. Take out meal, after take out meal, I stare at my gleaming kitchen, imagining myself at full speed; chopping on the counter, simmering a sauce on the stove top and roasting something in the oven. Of course, my romantic kitchen fantasy doesn’t include: the chopped veggies that have fallen way side on the floor; the sauce that’s splattered against the walls and the sugary stickiness from the roasted potatoes all over the sides of the oven.
It’s true. I’m a mess in the kitchen. Hopefully said partner doesn’t hold this against me in future moments when he’s wondering why there’s pomegranate juice on the ceiling. I am just not the kind of cook that can operate without leaving crumbs behind. Thankfully my obsessive compulsiveness has started to bully out the slob in me – so it’s getting better.
So why am I being locked out of the kitchen and forced to endure nightly take out. It’s within good reason. We decided to put the place up on the market after many deliberations over two years. It’s very exciting as it could mean a larger sink and more counter space, but it means that I’ve had to live like a squatter, leaving no sign that I exist in that apartment. For those that know me, I’m sure they will find it hard to believe that my past bad habits can survive this kind of environment. I’m happy to report that we’re two weeks in and you won’t be able to find a pair of panties anywhere.
Being that this is my current predicament, I’m finding myself fantasizing about new recipes or past ones I’ve made and counting down the metaphorical days to when I can cook again. [CAUTION: Friends, I may be coming to a kitchen near you]
I’m salavating right now about a dish I made two weeks ago. It was probably one of the most well rounded satisfying bowls I’ve ever made. It’s gluten and dairy free, packed with protein, antioxidants and high in fiber. Not to mention it’s seriously delicious. You can serve it warm or cold depending on your mood.
It’s called “Super Foods on a Bed of Warm Quinoa”. I was inspired by Green Kitchen Stories once again. I can’t quite you!
Yields 6 servings
· 2 cups of quinoa
· 1 large butternut squash (chopped into cubes and roasted)
· 2 avocados, diced in to medium size chunks
· 1 broccoli, broke into bite-size florets
· 2-3 handfuls of spinach and kale chopped into smaller pieces (half size of your palm)
· 1 pomegranate, seeds
|Chunky Herb Dressing|
· 1.5 handful basil, finely chopped
· 1 handful parsley, finely chopped
· 1.5 handful of cilantro
· 2 large cloves garlic, very finely chopped
· whole lemon, juice and some rind
· 2 tsp of agave nectar
· 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
· salt & pepper
Half butternut squash. Scoop out the seeds and remove the tough peel with a sharp knife or a peeler. Cut into 1 x 1-inch (2 x 2 cm) dices. Place on an oven tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt. Bake on 400 F° (200°C) for 20-30 minutes or until soft and slightly brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Cook quinoa as directed, making sure to rinse first. Let cool slightly before combining other ingredients.
Cut avocados in cubes, chop spinach in half and kale into chunks and seed pomegranate.
Prepare Herb Dressing in a food processor or hand mixer.
Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, add the herb dressing (reserve a quarter) and mix with your hands or spoon to make sure everything is coated with dressing. Add all ingredients to quinoa, remaining dressing and gently fold to combine. Now put some in a bowl, grab a fork, put your favorite record on or TV show and enjoy!