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Study Breaks

As I type this post, I’m listening to Christmas music! I know, I know, It’s exams Julie, you should be studying! But you see, I am a firm believer in taking breaks and relaxing a little during exam time. I’m not one of those people who can sit down for six (or more!) hours straight and study. I max out at two hours, and then my brain starts to get all fuzzy and I can’t absorb anything. This exam period I have two types of study breaks: Running ones and blog related ones. I obviously adore my running breaks, for the getting to see my friends part just as much as the actual run itself! I also love my blogging breaks, as they result in something like this:

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Cranberry, Pear, Lentil and Millet Stuffed Squash!

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Or as I like to call it – Squash stuffed with Christmas! Seriously, I have fallen in love with cranberries! They are tangy, ever-so-slightly sweet and bursting with flavour. To me, they are one of those flavours that sort of embody Christmas. Like eggnog, peppermint and clementines, they have a way of getting me in the spirit!

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Delicious! Unfortunately, I have procrastinated long enough – back to studying!

Cranberry, Pear, Lentil and Millet Stuffed Squash

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 acorn or peppercorn squash
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
dash salt
pinch pepper

1/2 c. red lentils
1/2 c. millet
3 c. water

3 c. kale
1/2 c. cranberries
1 pear
1/4 c. onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/3 c. walnuts

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375F.  Cut your squash in half, drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the squash cut-side down on a tray lined with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

Place the red lentils, millet, and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the lentil an millet is cooked and most of the water is soaked up.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat a drop of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the diced onion, pear, and cranberries and cook until the onion is translucent and the cranberries begin to split.  Add the garlic and kale and saute for another few minutes until the kale begins to wilt.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and dash of salt and cook for another couple minutes.

When the lentils and millet are finished cooking, add them to the pan with the cranberries, onions and kale and stir to combine.  Stir in the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through and and the liquid is evaporated.

Place the walnuts on an oven-safe plate and place in the oven for the last 10 minutes of cook-time with the squash, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

When the squash are done, remove them from the oven and flip over.  (be careful- they’ll be hot!)  Fill each half with as much filling as you can fit.  (you’ll have leftover filling, but don’t worry- it makes for great leftovers on top of salad!)

Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and an extra drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.

~Julie@twosaucysisters

What do you do when you take study/work “breaks”?  What kinds of foods get you into the Christmas spirit?

Fall Cravings

During the summer and spring months, generally our cravings lean more towards the lighter and brighter side of things, for things like salads, burgers, and anything grilled. When September hits and the fall weather starts kicking in, however, we start moving towards warm soups, oatmeal, everything pumpkin and of course all of those lovely fall vegetables!

Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, asparagus and pears!

Ok so pears aren’t a vegetable, but they’re a fall fruit, and who’s counting anyways? We currently have a tonne of pears in our house right now, because not only are they way cheaper than apples (the poor apple crop!) but also, our Dad’s house in Grimsby used to be a fruit farm a long time ago, so we’ve still got a bunch of pear trees kicking around.  They’re actually amazing, we literally do nothing to them, and they grow beautiful, yummy tasting pears every year!

Anyways, all the time the other night we were craving roasted fall veggies, so we chopped all this stuff up and ended up with something that looked this:

Soooooo delicious! It was exactly what we were hoping it would be. And the best part is, is it was super easy! Literally you chop, toss, roast, eat. What’s better than that?

Throw in some onion and toss it all in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, and you are golden my friends! It’s the perfect fall dish. It takes about 45min to roast, but it’s well worth the wait, and during that time you can prepare the rest of your meal, do homework, do a mini at-home workout, clean your room…. the possibilities are endless!

Would’ya look at that steam! 🙂

We ate this as a main dish with some feta cheese crumbled on top and corn bread+almond butter on the side, but we both agreed that this would be fantastic as a side dish at your Thanksgiving turkey dinner, or just a regular meal at home!

Long story short: If you love fall, roasted vegetables, and happiness, you will love this dish!                                                                              🙂

Roasted Fall Veggie Salad

Prep time: 10min
Cook tmie: 45min
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

1-2 carrots
2-3 parsnips
1/4 of  a large butternut squash
1/2 a large sweet potato
1/2 a bunch of asparagus
1/4 large white onion
1 pear
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Chop all vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on the rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

Bake in the oven for 40-45min, or until a fork can be easy inserted (the carrots will remain firmer than the rest of the vegetables). Sprinkle with feta or other cheese, if desired, and enjoy!

-twosaucysisters

What dish do you crave the most when the fall weather comes around?

WIAW: The Comforts of Fall

Can you believe it’s already the end of September?

We’ve been back in school for almost a month now, and we both still feel like we’re trying to make the transition from summer, which is why the theme for this month’s What I Ate Wednesday- “Falling into Good Habits”–  just seems so appropriate!  Because “falling” is a great way to describe the completely un-graceful transition that we are attempting to make, here.

But there are a few things that have been helping make this transition easier, or at least more pleasant.  Of course, being back with our cross country team has been fabulous, and we do love being in London, but there is one aspect of fall that really speaks to our inner-foodies.

As you know (and we’re sure you’ve all noticed lately!) the temperature takes a bit of a nose-dive this time of year.  And while we are both summer girls at heart, we take comfort in the fact that along with cooler temperatures comes one of our favourite foods- soup!

And not just any soup.  We’re talking about the thick, creamy variety made from nothing else but the season’s best squash (that just so happen to be only 50 cents/lb!).

Creamy Coconut, Buttercup squash and lentil soup.  Comfort in a bowl, friends!

We seriously can’t think of anything better than coming home from a hard cross country workout in the brisk fall breeze and digging into a warm bowl of this soup.

So if you’re feeling like us, and are still trying to adapt to the season, give this soup a try.  It might not help you keep track of all your homework and assignments, or just simply fall back into your routine, but it’ll make the transition easier 🙂

And then head over and visit Jenn at Peas and Crayons, and check out all the other What I Ate Wednesday participants!

Creamy Coconut Buttercup Squash and Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 small buttercup squash, roasted and peeled
1/4 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2c. red lentils
4 c. water
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place buttercup squash, onion, garlic, bell pepper, lentils, and water in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to the pot and add coconut milk and seasonings.  Return the soup to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Add 1/4-1/2c. extra water if you desire a thinner consistency.

Spoon into bowls and serve topped with yogurt and hot sauce, if desired.

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite Fall comfort foods?