A Decadent Lunch – Roasted Squash with Lentils and Feta Cheese

It’s not often that I’m at home for lunch, even at the weekends, so last Sunday I thought I’d treat myself to something a little different – Roasted Squash with Lentils and Goat’s Cheese!

I usually have this as a main meal  but I think it works equally well as a more substantial lunch. I also had plenty left over for Monday’s packed lunch – bonus. It’s adapted from a Waitrose recipe card stolen from my mum’s kitchen!

For 4 servings you will need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, cut into small chunks 
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pack of feta cheese (or Goat’s Cheese), crumbled
  • Pack of lentils, ready to eat, ~250g (I use Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils)
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • Salad to serve – rocket or spinach is nice!

I cut this down into 2 large servings but only using half the butternut squash and half the lentils.

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Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan). Line a baking sheet with baking paper and mix the squash, pepper, sage and seeds together with the oil. Spread them out into an even layer and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

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Tip everything out into your serving bowl(s) and leave to cool for a few minutes, then carefully stir in your lentils, balsamic vinegar and crumbled cheese. Yum!

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To use up the rest of the butternut squash, I added it to some mashed potato for last night’s dinner. I still need to think of a way to use up the remaining lentils…The last time I made this dish, I put them in a lasagne. When I put in front of my boyfriend he was disgusted: ‘Where’s the meat?!’. That pack of lentils also had some quinoa in them – it was a pretty earthy tasting lasagne, safe to say I won’t be making that again!

Hope everyone has had a great few days in the sun – let’s hope the bank holiday weekend is just as nice!

H x

Out and About: Lively Bristol

Bit of a gap between posts – every evening this week has been spent rather frantically researching houses to view, mortgages and solicitors. It’s mad. These photos are a week old now but I wanted to put them up for posterity and this was a day I really enjoyed!

Bank Holiday Sunday was gorgeously sunny and the streets had a a definite festival vibe to them. Just down the road from my flat was the ‘Park and Slide’ event – a temporary water slide built on Park Street, one of Bristol’s steeper main streets. It was such a fun idea which I think really encapsulates the sort of culture in Bristol. Thousands of people (including me) applied for tickets to go down the slide but only a few hundred were selected in the ballot.

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Park Street – closed for the event and very crowded!

The slide itself was a little shorter than I expected but it was obviously a tricky event to pull off and had been very hyped up.

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The slide was made from hay bales and tarpaulin… sorry for the wonky shot!

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Crowded Park Street, looking back up at the slide.

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Part of the Bristol Food Connections event on College Green

Heading down Park Street and onto College Green there was some pretty mouthwatering food on offer in various marquees. There were a few related foodie events going on as part of the Bristol Food Connections festival.

The afternoon was spent exploring the different areas looking for some tasty treats before it progressed into a bit of a pub crawl around the waterfront with some friends. As evening fell we visited the Old Duke and Small Bar on historic Kings Street before getting last minute tickets to a gig at Thekla, Bristol’s venue on a boat! These are some of my favourite places in Bristol so maybe I’ll do a separate post on them at a later date.

Hope everyone’s having a good weekend. I went to a Eurovision party last night so I’m pretty tired now and trying to ignore the fact that tomorrow is Monday…

H x

Introducing Cake Club: Rainbow Jam Tarts

 

I’m not someone who normally finds the time to bake, but when I moved into my new team in work at the end of last year I knew I had to get involved in their ‘Cake Club’. Basically, every Friday at 10 am the whole office gathers round and scoffs yummy baked goods prepared by 3 members of the club. Anything is acceptable as long as its home made, from pizza, pastries, cupcakes through to full on chocolate cakes!

It’s been a great way to get to know some of my new colleagues. While the standard is pretty high and an edge of competition occasionally creeps in (mainly between the guys, who are very talented and enthusiastic bakers), the entries always receive lots of praise.

It was my turn on Friday and I decided to make something fairly simple. I always seem to be very busy on Thursday nights and my bake usually turns into a stressful event. Last time I made a loaf cake which didn’t come out of the oven until 10.30 pm. It then needed time to cool and be iced… a very late night for me 😦

This particular week I had a hair appointment on Thursday evening so I knew I had to be organised. I decided to bake these Rainbow Jam Tarts, a Jaime Oliver recipe.

I made the pastry on Wednesday night and I think I put a little bit more than a ‘splash’ of milk in. I put it in the fridge and hoped for the best, but to be on the safe side I picked up a batch of ready rolled pastry from the supermarket the next day. Luckily my pastry turned out fine and here they are!

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They aren’t the tidiest or prettiest jam tarts in the world – I don’t have any pastry cutters so I just used a pint glass. Also, having not made jam tarts for years, I didn’t roll the pastry thinly enough so they were pretty heavy duty tarts! As for the fillings, I used raspberry, blackcurrant and apricot jam.  I also had some Marula Marmalade (a present from South Africa) in the cupboard so I popped some of that in too.

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Most importantly, the members of Cake Club were very pleased with my efforts. Using my backup pastry I ended up with nearly 40 jam tarts and one even made it’s way to the Head of Operations in another office! A successful cake club 🙂

Do you regularly consume cake at work or have you been introduced to baking in any other ways?

H x