Ethiopian Spiced Lentils with Roasted Squash and Goat Cheese

The world of blogging is such an interestingly revealing one. It’s a glimpse into the life of the writer; a personal journal entry. Through writing a day’s blog post, we forfeit our thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, and suggestions, for everyone to read.

Yes, you monitor how much of your life you include in this setting, but a lot of food bloggers, I’ve noticed, use this written medium as a way to work through past/lingering eating disorders.

And why shouldn’t they we? The blog world can be a safe place, hopefully free of criticism; An arena to find yourself, reinvent yourself. At least this is how I feel about it. My own feelings towards food have changed and evolved, and become positive, through writing about food.

My blog has allowed me to have fun photographing food, reading others’ thoughts on food, and really enjoy food. In a way, surrounding myself with like-minded people, sharing so many new ideas about eating (and flavors) has given me confidence with my own eating patterns and feelings.

This may sound strange, but I think having this blog has helped me tremendously in working my way out of an eating disorder. I now rejoice with food. I love what it can provide for my body, myself, and my friends (since I love making food for others). I love food.

*reluctantly steps down from soapbox*

This rant is relevant… sort of. Today’s written script is one of fulfillment, nourishment, soul warming comfort. And incredible, super yummy, delicious, miraculous (<–yes) food.

Dear Diary Reader,

Last night I created a masterpiece in flavor. After taking mental stock of what I needed from the recipes I knew I had to remake, I just happened to have all of the necessary ingredients, already at hand. I’m going to call it fate… that this meal was born. It was really, truly that good.

With the recipe re-making reading, I got to work…

Ethiopian Spiced Lentils with Roasted Squash and Goat Cheese

Serves 6 (I probably had 3 servings to myself), Adapted from Eats Well With Others and Smitten Kitchen

Berbere Lentils

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tbsp Berbere spice mix
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, or 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • salt, to taste

1. Rinse the lentil under cold running water and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onion until brown.  Add in the garlic and jalapeno, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Mix in the reserved lentils, berbere, tomatoes and four cups of water.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 45-50 minutes or until thick and lentils are cooked through.  Season with salt.

Meanwhile…

Paprika Roasted Kabocha Squash and Goat Cheese

  • 6 cups peeled, seeded and cubed kabocha squash (or squash of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large glass Pyrex baking dish, toss squash cubes with tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Bake for 30 minutes.

After lentils and squash are cooked…

2. Combine lentils, kabocha, with arugula. Divide among plates and sprinkle with 2 tbsp goat cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

Serve with injera if you have some.

The subtle smokiness and heat from the berbered lentils, the sweetness of the kabocha, and the sharp tartness of the goat cheese are all incredible together. All of that wrapped up in the sour injera throws a party rager on every square inch of your tongue.

Tastebuds beware: nothing will taste as good after eating this dish.

So, do your tastebuds a favor and make this. Now.

Screw men, the real way to a woman’s heart is through her belly. I swear. After tasting this, you’ll be a convert too.

Journal Talk:

What are you experiencing as hard right now?

What energizes you?

P.S. Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you and your comments! Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S.S. Have you done yourself a favor and entered my giveaway yet?!