Week 27 and Lentil is the size of a head of cauliflower. I have a special treat for you this week: a celebrity guest blogger! That’s right, I am preparing for tomorrow’s move to our new home in Columbia and this has been a week of no cooking due to time spent packing and limited access to kitchen supplies. Good thing I have an awesome sister and brother-in-law who were willing to pinch-hit for me! Thanks, Laura and Matt!
See below for their results, but first…a belly pic for your viewing pleasure 🙂
Got a nice little basketball going, I’m happy to say.
And now, take it away, Laura!
Hello everyone! I’m happy to stand in this week for my doppelganger Jenny while she prepares to move into their new house this week. And as luck would have it, I got a great vegetable—cauliflower, which has been one of my favorite things with which to experiment as of late. (Thank god they didn’t move two weeks ago during the rutabaga period.)
I am very excited to become an aunt in a few months! I think I will be the best aunt ever, if the amount of pre-birth present buying is any indication. Once Lentil is born, my support will not waver. One thing I will be responsible for doing is making sure that he eats nutritious meals so he can grow up to be big and strong. I anticipate it will take some cajoling as it seems to with almost every male human. Luckily I have gotten great practice with my husband, Matt. A certain amount of coercion is necessary to sell a vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free dish like this one to someone who starts every day thinking about pepperoni pizza.
The cooking adventure started off something like this:
Me, driving home from PT: “Hey babe! I just sent you a screenshot of what I’m gonna make for dinner. Can you start the oven part?”
Matt: ::pause:: “Squash… spaghetti?”
Me: “Spaghetti squash.”
Matt: “But it’s squash? Not spaghetti?”
Me: “Yes. You’ve had it before, and you liked it. And it’s good for you?”
Matt: “But… it’s squash?” ::sounds disappointed::
Me: “Don’t worry, it’s gonna have a yummy alfredo sauce made out of pureed cauliflower!”
Me: “Just turn on the oven and I’ll be home in a half hour.”
Disclaimer: I picked this recipe because it featured two of my favorite things—stuff that seems like carbs but isn’t carbs, and stuff that I can take for lunch the next day. Which is apropos because today at work I learned that October 21 is National Pack-a-Sack lunch day and that I can save $16,066 towards my retirement by bringing lunch twice a week for 15 years (and $40K if I bring every day). That is a lot of money that I will be able to spend on grandchildren onesies if I am diligent now!
Difficulty: Moderate. There is a difference between difficult-complicated and difficult-time-consuming, and this is definitely the latter. I tried to minimize/multi-task by having Matt do the squash cooking while I was on my way home and combining the cauliflower cooking with the squash rather than microwaving or pan-frying as one commenter suggested, but even so it took longer than I anticipated. Not that I have anything else I really need to do—after all, I’m neither pregnant nor moving in 12 hours!
Taste: Satisfying, especially once I made some tweaks (see below). I asked the hubs to describe it in 3 words and he chose “creamy”, “spice-y” (as in not hot but, rather, full of spices), and “spaghetti-y.” I will consider that a victory.
Notes: I swapped out arugula for the basil and was pleased with the peppery result. However, I did have to do some additional improvising to get a finished product that satisfied. Left out one of the garlic cloves (and probably could have left out one more—and I’m saying that as an avid garlic lover). The sauce was too watery (probably cuz I used less cauliflower than it called for after eating some of it for lunch, whoops). I added a half a cup or so of grated parmesan which helped thicken it but ruined the vegan and dairy-free elements. Then when that didn’t quite seem right either I panicked and boiled some capellini and threw that in. Voila! Two kinds of spaghetti = a healthy and hearty meal. The final addition of some already-cooked Trader Joe’s lemon grilled chicken on top was the icing on the cake that added some nice savory taste and left us both happy campers.
That’s all for week 28. Thanks for letting me cameo, Lentil! Love you and see you soon!*
*but not too soon, we have more shopping and nursery decorating to do, and you need to fit into the seasonally sized clothing that I have already purchased.
More cauliflower goodness: