Roasted Butternut Squash

We have a pile of butternut squashes in the garage from last summer’s harvest. It was J’s job to wrestle with them using a cleaver and cutting board.

This morning I simply stuck it in the oven whole – as we do with potatoes. This specimen weighed 2.75 pounds and took 45 minutes at 350F. (I put it in a cold oven and took it out after 45 minutes My countertop oven takes just four minutes to heat up. It may take longer in a regular oven.)

If it’s a giant squash, cut it across the middle in half and put the two halves in. I put some sweet potatoes and a tray or leeks and onions to roast on another rack. Pull those out after 30 minutes. Those leeks and onions will go in the blender with the squash for soup. The sweet potatoes will get used in the next day or two.

When you see brown welts on the squash, it’s done. It peels like a charm and you’ve got enough material for a soup and some smoothies.

I popped some instant pistachio kulfi (ice cream) in the freezer for the evening.

This morning, it was a choice between dosas and waffles. Since it’s obligatory to make something tackily heart-shaped on Valentines’ day, we went with waffles.

IDLI WAFFLES

These are gluten-free, dairy-free and delicious. Idlis are puffy pillows made with fermented rice and lentils – the staple breakfast of south Indians. (Recipe and pictures of whole grain idlis HERE.)

The same batter is thinned out to make crisp crepes called dosas. Or fluffy pancakes called uthappams.

You get idli/dosa batter in the refrigerator section of many Indian grocery stores in the U.S. I wish our Indian store carried it, ‘cos then we wouldn’t have to buy rice and lentils. Anyway, waffles made with idli/dosa batter are fantastic – crisp outside and spongy inside.

MAKING IDLI WAFFLES
- The waffle batter should be thinner than idli batter or pancake batter. It should be like dosa batter – a tad thicker than crepe batter.
- We soak our rice and lentils for 24 hours and ferment them for another 24. If your batter fails to rise, no problem. Add half tsp baking powder and make waffles.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of melted coconut oil or butter/ghee to the batter, especially if you’re using a cast iron waffle iron. It helps prevent sticking.

TODAY’S MENU and EXERCISE REGIMEN

WHAT WE ATE:

Prep:
Previous day, thaw in the fridge: mango.
Ferment rice and lentils for idli.

Morning:

Both of us: 1 cup coffee with cream, then chai with ginger.

J: Idli waffles with banana caramelised in 1 tsp ghee topped with toasted almonds.
A piece of gjetost cheese.

B: Ditto

Mid-morning:
J: an apple.

B: Ditto

Afternoon:
J: Greek yogurt with 25 grams whey topped with homemade hot cranberry pickle.
mango mousse (mango and creme fraiche)

B: mango mousse (mango and creme fraiche)

Butternut Squash Soup with Leeks and Beet Greens

Mid-afternoon:
J: Butternut squash soup with leeks and beet greens.
Ginger tea.

B: Ditto.

Evening:
J: Leftover jicama slaw topped with guacamole
Spicy green chickpeas topped with crunchy onions.
Instant Pistachio Kulfi.

B: Ditto.

EXERCISE:
Morning: 45 minutes Power Yoga.
Evening: Taekwondo.

Spicy green chickpeas topped with crunchy onions.

Thaw some frozen green chickpeas/garbanzo beans (Costco has them), heat them up, sprinkle smoky chili powder and salt, mix and set aside. Toast some dried onion flakes until golden and sprinkle on top. Add a squeeze of lime if you wish.

What did you eat for dinner?

- bee (and jai)

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14 Comments

  1. H says:

    hahah! paniyaram + make over = idli waffles! :D Happy valentine’s day J & B!

  2. Priya says:

    Idli waffles!! ingenious – gotta try that. Thanks for taking the trouble to post all ur menus. I’m not on a grain-free diet and don’t plan to be but its inspiring to see how fabulously creative you guys are with your meals. Simple, elegant and tasty. My dinner cannot hold a candle – it was 3 homemade rotis with ghee, 2 pieces of sharp cheddar and a bowl of stir fried mixed veggies. Cantaloupe for dessert.

  3. Rupa says:

    The green chickpeas ..oh so tempting ! Thanks for posting all these in details….

    Yesterday’s Dinner – baked Salmon.Baked purple sweet potatoes. Kiwi fruit and blueberries. Today’s Lunch – Rice cakes(thin and crisp) with avocado and hommus.

    Rupa

  4. Rosa says:

    A great program! I’d love to taste Gjetost. Those Brussel sprouts look fantastic.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. Yogini says:

    Awesome menu!
    Instant pistachio kulfi minus sugar?

  6. Smitha says:

    Idli Waffles …..Wonder how creative can you folks get with food.. A sure shot winner. Bowled over here..
    We are not grain free but yes we eat a lot of vegetables. Dinner was at a Korean restaurant -Kimchi, Veggie Bimbimbol, Veggie Banchan and Kimchi Tofu soup :)

  7. Divya Vikram says:

    Am trying the idli waffles soon! Thanks for the idea.

  8. S says:

    Dosa batter is available in local Indian stores now. Please ask Hasmukh bhai

  9. A says:

    I have never seen green garbanzos in Costco.. in what section do you get them? I mean is it near cheeses or milk or any specific location? I found it once in Trader Joe’s but then they stopped getting it..I hope we get green garbanzos in California Costco.. it looks so yummy! Love the look of the butternut squash soup..Thanks, J &B!

  10. Kelly A. says:

    Great idea! We are gluten free and daughter’s class was having a pancake party, and I had a heart shaped griddle pan, so I made her thinned out idli pancakes to take and she was very happy. Great minds think alike? ;-)

  11. Niv Mani says:

    wondering if the Idli waffles were inspired by Manisha Pandit’s blog posting http://www.indianfoodrocks.com/2010/07/cereusly-awesome.html,
    Its Medu Vadai counterpart has been a staple at home for a long time now!
    Loved the butternut squash pic!
    Cheers,
    -N.

  12. Grace says:

    Hi Jai and Bee,

    Would appreciate if you could explain how to store the harvested squash in your garage ? We stored ours in the basement this year, wrapped in newspaper — but most of them rotted/decayed & felt bad having to throw them out.

    Could the same storing process be adapted for other vegs.fruits like apples, carrots ?

    Thanks,
    Grace.



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