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I hope your week is off to a great start
The Chef took the week off to paint the front of our house. I didn't realize that he prefers to paint alone(!) .. although he will let me bring him ta all glass of water .. and the occasional smoothie.
Me? I've been getting ready for this weekend's Spaghetti Saturday. We took a break during the month of August .. so I'm really excited to see everybody again
Today .. a few fun links from around the web
Does exercise change your brain? [via NYTimes]
Major League Baseball owns domain names for the websites of 27 of its 30 teams. There are 3 holdouts .. Rays.com (a restaurant in Seattle) .. Giants.com (the NY football team) .. and Twins.com which has been “under construction” since the 1990s. A great read: The Website the MLB couldn't buy [via Grantland]
5 Card Games to Know .. (and better yet!) .. snacks to eat while playing [via Food52]
A beautiful TED talk .. What really matters at the end of life [via TED]
Looking for some wellness inspiration? 27 Must-Read Wellness Books [via The Chalkboard]
What happens to the clothes we donate to charity? (I bet it's not what you'd guess) NPR traces used T-shirts .. The Afterlife of a T-Shirt [via Planet Money]
I've always followed Serena Williams .. Two Weeks in New York [via The NY Times]
“I urge you to try and create the world you want to live in. Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get-your-hands-dirty way … ” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wellesley, 2015 25 Powerful Commencement Speeches by Women [via NYMag]
The truth about marinades [via LA Times]
Washington DC has its first official font .. can you guess where it originated? [via Wired]
Have you ever wondered what happens when someone leaves millions to their pet? [via Vanity Fair]
The interesting daily habits of 8 insanely successful creatives [via My Domaine]
I come from a family of engineers .. Lessons from the Tappan Zee Bridge [via The Atlantic]
Could the cure for blindness come from .. algae? [via Wired]
The social history of Jell-O salad. It's as fascinating as it is gelatinous [Serious Eats]
With spaghetti squash starting to appear at our Farmer's Market these past few weeks .. a quick and healthy dinner idea.
It's a nice replacement for pasta .. and certainly, it's great with a simple sauce. Though topping it with a fresh pesto .. beluga lentils .. and sautéed shiitake mushrooms seemed a bit fancier .. without being too much effort for a weeknight.
The pesto .. made from fresh parsley .. a hunk of good parmesan .. and a bit olive oil .. can be made as chunky or creamy as you'd like.
Beluga lentils .. They were a fun way to add protein to the meal .. and something I hadn't cooked with before. What makes them different? They glisten when they're cooked .. which makes them look like beluga caviar. Who knew?
(Note to self .. Sprinkle them on top of the dish before you take a picture. They're much better that way .. instead of in a bowl off to the side. Alas ..)
~ Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Spaghetti Squash with Beluga Lentils, Parsley Pesto, and Shiitake
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp coconut oil ** or ghee
- fine-grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup beluga lentils rinsed
- 1 cup of water
- a pinch of fine-grain sea salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 small red onion chopped
- 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
- Parsley Pesto
- 2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley leaves picked
- 3 Tbsp pine nuts or nuts of choice toasted
- 3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- fine-grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- Spaghetti Squash
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F
- Divide the spaghetti squash lengthwise with a large sharp knife.
- Rub the cut sides with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place both halves on a baking tray, cut side down.
- Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes (depending on the size of the squash).
- The halves are ready when the skin is bubbly and slightly browned.
- Remove the squash from the oven, turn it so you’ll have the cut side up and let cool for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lentils, pesto, and shiitake mushrooms
- Beluga Lentils
- Place water and lentils in saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, lower the heat and let gently simmer for 30 minutes or until tender and can be mashed easily between two fingers.
- Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Parsley & Parmesan Pesto
- Place all pesto ingredients in a mortar and grind until creamy, but still chunky, set aside.
- Alternately, a food processor works well
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Meanwhile sauté the onion, garlic, & the shiitake mushrooms in a frying pan with a little coconut oil until soft and browned, set aside
- Use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands.
- Place on serving plates, top with beluga lentils, pesto, and shiitake.