matcha brownies (gf+df)

matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking
matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking

I've felt a little off balance the past month. Maybe you've noticed …. last post I insisted my turnip waffles were parsnip, and the post before that I left out some of the main ingredients. I also spilt an entire bottle of water over my new laptop. I needed to hit that reset button badly. 

Last week, I went to go see my doctor, because on top of feeling way off balance, I've been having a weird allergic reaction to something, and a general feeling of "something is not okay".  When I saw her and told her what was going on, she insisted my problems were 100% stress related and immediately (I mean, immediately) sent me to her "healer". I had no idea what this "healer" was going to do to me, but I went straight from my doctor two stops down on the subway to see her. When I arrived in the office, I felt and immediate sense of clam, and an overwhelming feeling of happiness. The waiting room was filled with bright colors, and soothing meditative music. The healer woman ushered me to the back room which was bright purple and filled with that same warm and loving energy. We talked for a bit, I told her about what craziness was going on with my life, as well as the symptoms I was having, which were very likely a result of that craziness. Then, she asked me if I had any idea what she did. I smiled and said, I have no idea. 

Turns out, she is a reiki healer with extensive training in chinese medicine. Hum. Fascinating.  I've always been intrigued by reiki, I even have a very dear friend who was trained as a reiki healer, however, I have never considered seeing someone for this kind of therapy. I've just always thought that I am a more hands on / need to see results, kind of person. Although I am a very firm believer in any form of natural healing over popping pills, the skeptic in me sometimes holds me back from trying things that are a little less tangible. 

She explained that I was going to lie down on the table, fully clothed, and she was not going to make any contact with me, but that she was going to use her energy to replenish some of my depleted energy. Okay. I'm game. If she just gives me a tiny fraction of her positive energy, it's worth it, right? She worked her magic for 20-30 minutes, and when I walked out of there, I honestly felt as though I was walking on a airy cloud of happiness. To prove so, afterward I was standing on 6th avenue trying to flag down a cab and some aggressive driver literally almost run me over …. and I could care less. I knew it worked, and I could not wait to see her again. 

During our session, my eating habits came up, and she brought up something very interesting. She asked what I ate on a daily basis, and I told her my usual, smoothie, salad, mostly raw / gluten-free / dairy-free, always for breakfast and lunch, and sometimes through until dinner. I always get the thumbs up from any healthcare-type person when I talk about my diet, however, she is the first person to have found an issue with what I was eating. She said, because it is winter and our body is in hibernation mode, I really should be eating more cooked food. More roasted vegetables, more soup,  more tea. Makes sense. She told me to stop trying to focus so much on salads and smoothies, and try to listen to what my body needs.  Yikes, but okay. Limiting my salads and smoothies until the weather warms up, this could be difficult, but she might be right. 

She even said, I want you to give yourself a treat once in a while. Have dessert, eat something you wouldn't normally eat. Live a little. What has happened in your past, has happened. You need to start living in the present, and stop making up so many rules for yourself. Let stuff go. There's a whole life out there waiting for you to go and live. Here is your prescription for no guilt, for whatever it is you are or are not doing, so take it with you and live your life. 

YES. Maybe it was those words that made me feel like I was walking on clouds. I needed someone, a outside person, to tell me this. That is was okay to let go, okay to not feel guilty. It was okay to eat dessert for lunch, if that's what I wanted to do. 

So, the next day I made some brownies. I did keep the gluten and dairy out of them because that is what my body likes, but I gave myself some extra chocolate and a touch of matcha because I like my indulgence with a boost of antioxidants. 

matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking
matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking
matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking
matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking
matcha brownies | what's cooking good looking

These brownies are slightly more on the bitter side than the sweet side, so if you are a dark (bitter) chocolate person, then these brownies are for you. The matcha adds to the intriguing, unexpected bite to these brownies that I really like. If you've cooked with matcha before and you love the taste (bitter with an underlying tone of sweetness), then go ahead and add two tablespoons, but if you are hesitant, then just add one tablespoon. 

Another thing to note is that these brownies are on the cakey side, and I like them that way. However, there are slight adjustments you can make in the flour, butter, and sugar to get a different result. This article has the most detailed write up of how to achieve the brownie texture you're looking for, if you're up for experimenting: 
http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/brownies-chewy-cakey-fudgy.aspx?pg=1

Feel free to sub the brown rice flour regular all-purpose flour (1:1 …. or even take out and additional 1/2 cup of the nut flour and add another 1/2 cup of all-purpose)  if you don't mind the gluten, and want a chewier result. One last thing. I tested these with both coconut oil and earth balance butter ….. the butter definitely won, but if you want to avoid any kind of butter all together, then by all means use the coconut oil. Oh …. one last thing, I promise. I used maple syrup instead of a more refined white sugar. The results are less sweet, but I also like it like this. Feel free to use white sugar (1:1) here, for a sweeter result. 

matcha brownies

MAKES
about 10 brownies

INGREDIENTS

2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax seed + 4 tablespoons of water)

dry ingredients:
1 cup of brown rice flour
1 cup of hazelnut (or almond) flour
2 tablespoons of arrowroot 
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoon of matcha (plus more for dusting, if you like)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

wet ingredients:
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1/2 cup of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla

for the melted chocolate
1/3 cup of butter (vegan if you prefer, or you can also sub coconut oil)
1/4 cup of hemp or almond milk (unsweetened)
4 oz of semi-sweet dark chocolate (vegan, if you prefer, 65% cacao)

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 350º.  Grease a 9x9 pan. 
  • Make the flax egg but combining the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Stir and set aside for now. 
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well to combine everything. 
  • Set up a double broiler, and add the milk, butter, and chocolate (in pieces), while stirring constantly. When the chocolate and butter have melted, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the prepared batter. Add in the flax egg, and stir until everything is combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to the greased pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes (until a tester comes out clean).  Be careful not to overcook. 
  • Wait at least 10 minutes for the brownies to cool before removing them from the pan. Then, flip the pan to release the brownies, and cut into square. Enjoy warm (the best), or they will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge. 
     


 

turnip, shallot + chive waffles topped with eggplant + salsa verde

parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking
parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking


I have never been a breakfast for dinner kind of person. When I was a kid and they used to serve breakfast for lunch at school, I would be really disappointed, and I am still to this day a bit uptight and overprotective about my meals.

Breakfast is breakfast, and it should consists only of breakfast-type foods.  Lunch is lunch-type foods (salad, soup), and dinner is my most sacred meal.  Oh, and one other rule, you will never ever find me consuming a sandwiches or sweet main dishes after 2:00pm.  Ever. It's totally weird, and uptight, I know, but I don't see anything wrong with these rules, and it will be pretty hard to get me to bend them. Although ….. these waffles might be a start.  

I think one of the reasons I do not like breakfast for dinner is because I don't really have a sweet tooth, so the thought of eating a breakfast-type food that is on the sweeter side, such as sweet stack of pancakes or waffles, for dinner (the sacred meal) is a huge turnoff.  However, if you offer me a savory breakfast option for dinner ….. then, mayyybe then, we can talk.  Especially if they are in the form of a waffle. 

These savory waffles might be the first breakfast-type food that I have had for dinner in a long time, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The parsnip gives these waffles a savory, earthy, zing, that is a bit unexpected. The eggplant and the salsa turn this dish into more of a meal, that could totally cross the lines between breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.  There are veryyyyyy few dishes that can cross all three lines according to the rules in my book, but these waffles are certainly one of them. 
 

parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking
parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking
parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking
parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking
parsnip, shallot, and chive waffles with sliced eggplant + salad verde | what's cooking good looking

turnip, shallot + chive waffles topped with eggplant + salsa verde

MAKES about 6 waffles

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons of olive oil 
3 turnips, diced
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon of salt
pepper

3/4 cup of water

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups of oat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of chives or green onions, diced

1 medium sized eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
a drizzle of olive oil
salt + pepper

for the salsa verde:
3-4 tomatilllos, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/2 of a small red onion, minced
a handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt + pepper

METHOD

Make the salsa

  • Once all of your ingredients are chopped, place them in one big pile on the cutting board and give them a good chop while the are all mixed together. Then, place the salsa in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. 

Sauté the parsnip, shallots, and garlic and make the parsnip puree

  • In a cast iron, heat up 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are soft. Then add the garlic, and give it a stir, and then add the turnips, salt and pepper. Sauté the parsnips until they are soft, about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Transfer the parsnips sauté to a blender or food processor, add the water, and blend on high until you have a smooth puree. Tranfer the mixture to a bowl, and place the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow it to cool (especially before adding the egg, because if it is too hot it will cook the egg). 

While the mixture is cooling, you can cook the eggplant

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200º. 
  • Drizzle the olive oil (lightly) over the eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper. Then, in the same cast iron, heat it over medium heat and add the eggplant, cooking for about 3 minutes on each side. Cook about 3-4 slices at a time, depending on the size of your pan, until all of the eggplant is cooked. Transfer the cooked slices to a baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep warm while you finish preparing the waffles. 

Make the waffle batter, and cook the waffles

  • Remove the turnip puree from the fridge, and stir in the beaten egg and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Make a well in the center, and add in the flour and baking powder. Stir until everything is combined. Lastly, fold in the chives. 
  • Heat the waffle maker to a medium-high setting. On my waffle maker, this was a 4.5. I find with this waffle batter, you want to ere on the side of crisper waffles so you want a higher heat setting. Consult your specific waffle maker manual  if you need more direction on this. 
  • Cook the waffle accordingly to your special waffle makers instructions. You know that the waffle is done because it won't stick when you open the waffle maker (so do this slowly to test it), and it should be fairly brown on top. Carefully remove the waffle, and place on a baking sheet, and then into the oven (that was pre-heated for the eggplant) if you want to keep them warm. Do not stack the waffles, and do not place them until foil, because they will become soggy. 

Assemble the waffles

  • When you've cooked up all of the batter, assemble the waffles. Place a single waffle on a plate. Add 1-2 slices of the eggplant, and finish with a large spoonful of the salsa verde. I also like to finish with a drizzle of really good olive oil and some fresh cracked pepper. 
  • If you want to save the waffles for later, they keep really well wrapped up in the freezer. Cover them in parchment, then in foil, and the place in a freezer bag. To heat up, you can heat them in the oven at 350º, or toast them on a cast iron. 

 

thai peanut sweet potato skins

thai peanut sweet potato skins | what's cooking good looking
thai peanut sweet potato skins | what's cooking good looking

Growing up, potato skins were one of my favvvvvvorite foods. I'm talking about the bacon, cheese, sour cream loaded kind that you find at a TGI Fridays after a long Saturday of buying junk at the mall. Those potato skins. Just writing this right now, I can taste them and I am getting hungry. They were soooo good, but soooo bad. 

Fast forward to now, I have not eaten or even thought about a potato skin for years and years. Then, during a conversation with a friend recently about stuffed sweet potatoes, I had a flashback to those yummy potato skins. OMG, yessss, I need to make an updated version of potato skins ASAP. 

I am sure it is pretty obvious that my version of potato skins today are not going to have all that bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream of my mall-going days. I thought about mimicking them by veganizing all of those ingredients, but let's be honest, we will both feel a bit cheated if I do that. So let's do this instead. Use a sweet potato instead of a white potato and top them with a uber-flavorful thai peanut sauce and finish them off with pad-thai-like toppings with a lot of green and crunch. 

These guys are delicious and addicting in totally different way than the old school potato skin. They are that kind of fancy / un-fancy party food that you can serve to pretty much anyone (with a slightly open mind) and they will scarf them down.  And, I totally accidentally posted this the week before Super Bowl (yep …. just realized today it was super bowl today), but these would be the perfect way to sneak in some healthy indulgence into your super bowl party, if you're into that sort of thing. 

thai peanut sweet potato skins | what's cooking good looking
thai peanut sweet potato skins | what's cooking good looking

thai peanut sweet potato skins

MAKES
about 16 skins

INGREDIENTS

2 large sweet potatoes
olive oil
salt + pepper

for the thai peanut sauce
1/4 cup of peanut or almond butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoons of tamari 
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil 
1 teaspoon of ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons of lime juice (or lemon juice will work as well)
2-4 tablespoons of water

toppings:
2 green onions, sliced thin
¼ cup of toasted nuts (peanuts, almonds, or pine nuts)
a few basil leaves, chiffonade
a handful of cilantro
a sprinkle of gomasio 

METHOD

Roast the sweet potatoes

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º. 
  • Using a fork, poke a bunch of holes in the sweet potatoes. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for about 45mins – 1 hour, until the sweet potato is soft and cooked through.

While the potatoes are roasting, prep the toppings and make the sauce

  • Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes, until light brown. Give them a rough chop. 
  • Then, make the sauce by adding all of the ingredients, except for the water, to the food processor and pulsing several times until the mixture is smooth. Then add the water a tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency. I find that 2-3 tablespoons should be enough, but feel free to add more if you want to thin it out a little.

When the sweet potatoes are done cooking, prepare the skins

  • After you remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, change the oven setting to the broil (keep the rack in the middle).
  • Cut the potatoes in half. Then, scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a thin layer (about 1/4") of sweet potato on top of the skins.
  • Cut each half into quarters, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place back onto the parchment baking sheet.
  • Broil for 5-7 minutes, turn the potato skins and broil for another 5-7 minutes. You want the edges become really crispy. I find that each broiler is different, some cook very fast and others are slow. Keep a close eye on them ensure your skin don’t burn.

Assemble the skins

  • Allow the skins to cool slightly before assembling. Then, add a healthy drizzle of the peanut sauce. Sprinkle the green onion, nuts, cilantro, basil, and gomasio over top. Serve warm with the extra peanut sauce on the side, for dipping. 

spiced yellow split pea soup + crispy shallots

yellow split pea soup with crispy shallots | what's cooking good looking
yellow split pea soup with crispy shallots | what's cooking good looking

Michael has jumped in and taken over a lot of the evening cooking for me recently, and it's such a treat. After a long day away from my home and kitchen, there is nothing better than to walk in to a home cooked meal. It's a total role reversal, and the highlight of my day right now.

Michael is an excellent cook, and he will be the first to tell you that he owes it all to his exceptional ability to follow a recipe. Some of the best cooks are the best recipes followers, but that is where him and I differ.  I am much more of an instinctual cook and a recipe rebel, where as he will follow a recipe so precisely, he freaks out over the smallest detail such as a lack of parsley for a garnish.  I love that about him, and I think he makes me a better cook by questioning me and making me think twice when I tell him he can still make the recipe even though he has no parsley on hand. 

Over dinner the other night, we were chatting about when it's best to let your instincts jump in. In the case of soups, I think that soups are that kind of dish where you need to let your instincts lead a little. The cut of the vegetable, the seasoning, the garnishes, the texture .... should all be thought about along the way and should be questioned if you feel that the recipe you're following might differ from the way you want the outcome to be. If you want a smooth soup, throw it into the blender ..... if you want less salt, then add less. You can always add more but you can never take away .... golden rule of soups, and cooking in general.  

This is the season where I (we) make a new soup pretty much weekly. This week, Michael made us a delicious lentil soup for dinner, which I then was able to pack up and take with me a few days out of the week. Last week, we made this yellow lentil soup .... and there were no leftovers because we ate it all in the first day. The downside to a delicious soup. I blame it on the crispy shallots. These very lightly fried crispy shallots add an addicting crunch to the soup. With some microgreens and a generous splash of coconut milk and I can eat this all day on any cold winter day. 

yellow split pea soup with crispy shallots | what's cooking good looking
yellow split pea soup with crispy shallots | what's cooking good looking
yellow split pea soup with crispy shallots | what's cooking good looking

spiced yellow split pea soup + crispy shallots

** Inspired and only slightly adapted from THIS recipe from Sara of Sprouted Kitchen

SEVES // 4

INGREDIENTS

1 medium sweet potato (or yam)
2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1 red chili, seeded and sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
pepper
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoons of curry powder
a pinch of cayenne 
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
16 oz of yellow split peas, rinsed 
6 cups of broth (homemade vegetable broth, preferably)
a squeeze of 1/2 of a lemon

for the crispy shallots:
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons of chickpea flour
salt + pepper
3 tablespoons of grapeseed (or another high-heat oil)

additional garnishes:
1/4 cup of (canned) coconut milk (full fat or light)
gomacio
a handful of micrograms

METHOD

Roast the sweet potato:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425º. Using a fork, poke a bunch of holes in the sweet potato, place it on a baking sheet, and roast for 30-40 minutes until it is soft.
  • When it's cool enough to handle, remove the sweet potato from the skin, measure out 1 cup, mash it well with a fork, and set it aside. Eat or save the skins and any extra sweet potato. 

Make the soup:

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and red chili and cook until the onion is translucent (a couple of minutes). Then add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  • Then add the sweet potato flesh, the split peas, and the broth. Gently stir the mixture and then bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for about 45 minutes until the split peas are soft. Add the squeeze of lemon juice, stir, and then taste and adjust any seasoning necessary. 

While the soup is cooking, make the shallots:

  • On a plate, mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Then, add the shallots to the flour mixture and toss to coat the shallots with the flour. 
  • Line a small plate with paper towel and have it nearby. Then, in a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Test to make sure the oil is hot enough by adding a shallot and seeing if it sizzles. When the oil is ready, add all of the shallots. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, while shaking the pan to cook evenly (but do not disturb the shallots too much). Do this until they start to become brown (not too dark, because you don't want them to burn - this can happen quickly). Remove and set them on the plate with the paper towel.

Finish and assemble the soup:

  • If you like, you can puree the soup. I like to puree about half by spooning half into my vitamix, so that it leaves a little bit of texture, but you can either puree it all or none ... however you like your soup texture to be.  
  • Pour the soup into individual bowls, finish with a healthy drizzle of the coconut milk, top with a few crispy shallots, a handful of microgreens, and a sprinkle of gomacio. 

squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream

squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream  | what's cooking good looking
squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream

I could not have been happier to say goodbye to 2014. 2014 was a pretty trying year for me, and that is totally fine. Once in a while you need those years to kick things into perspective.

As you may have read from my instagram, my mom went back into the hospital the week before christmas. Just hours after we picked out our xmas tree and decorated our home with garlands and nutcrackers together, I was driving to the hospital, trailing an ambulance, for what I thought would be an overreaction on my part to a cold or flu that mom was coming down with. It turned out to be much more serious than that, and much more serious than her first time in the hospital. That was a vey hard day.  

I tried as hard as I could to forget that is was christmas all-together this year, to save myself from being a bah humbug in future years (keep in mind, I am a lover of xmas, so this was not easy). The holiday music and decorations everywhere made that pretty much impossible, so I decided that instead of forgetting it …. I was going to embrace it. The good things, the selfless giving and kindness parts. It was the first christmas in my adult life that I did not give gifts, and it gave me a totally different perspective on things, and life.  STUFF. Stuff that does not matter, and stuff that does matter. Living a life with purpose and a full heart, matters …… STUFF, does not matter. We both know that, but sometimes it takes an event like this to give an extra reminder. 

Be kind. Love with all of your heart. Do things matters, and don't worry about the things that don't. Always give it your all every single day, because if life changes, you will look back with little regret.  This is my new years revelation. Things that I hope to remind myself of much more often. 

You know what else matters? Food matters. It's what fuels us, it can keep us healthy (if consumed properly),  and it connects us to our loved ones as well as strangers. On xmas eve, we wanted to be close to the hospital and my mom, so Michael and I had a quiet dinner at a restaurant nearby. I don't know if it was because of the oh-so-many hours spent in a hospital, but that meal tasted soooo damn good. Maybe my levels of appreciation were heightened, I was finding it easier to appreciate  a lot more of the little things with my new perspective. We made a few friends at the bar seats around us, and by the end of the night, some carolers sang a few songs that we requested. It was perfect and magical in it's own quirky way.   

 

Now more than ever, I am trying to keep my health in check, starting with the food I am eating on a daily basis. This is not a new thing for me, or a new years resolution …. instead, I am just emphasizing the good things that I already do, so I do not fall into a hole of unhealthy habits - as anyone can very easily do when life gets stressful. My health is #1 right now, because I need to be healthy to be there for my mamma and the rest of our family.  Healthy should always be a priority … not just a new years resolution. 

So, I am going to start this year off by sharing a salad …… because salads are what I eat for lunch, and salads are what I eat to keep healthy in check.  And this one happens to be extra delicious too. 

Happiest of new years to you friends. I am sure this one will be wonderful, and healthy one for you and me. 

squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream | what's cooking good looking
squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream | what's cooking good looking
squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream | what's cooking good looking

squash salad with lentils + pomegranates with a roasted garlic cashew cream 

SERVES // 2

INGREDIENTS

2 delecata squashes (or 1 acorn or 1 small butternut squash), de-seeded and sliced or cubed
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
a sprinkle of herbs de provence
salt + pepper

1/2 cup of french green lentils, rinced
2 cups of water

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

5-6 kale leaves, ribs removed and finely chopped
about 1/2 cup of purple cabbage, finely chopped

for the roasted garlic cashew cream:
1 head of garlic
1/2 cup of cashews (soaked for about 3 hours, or as long as you can)
1/4+ cup of water
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of brags amino

METHOD

Roast the squash + garlic:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º. 
  • Place the squash onto a roasted pan and toss with the olive oil, herbs de provence, salt, and pepper. 
  • Prepare the roasted garlic by slicing off the top (the pointy part opposite the root) just enough to expose the ends of the garlic cloves. Then, wrap the garlic in a small piece of parchment and then wrap it all up with a piece of foil. Place on the same pan as the squash and roast it all in the oven. 
  • Roast for about 30 minutes then check both the squash and the garlic, They will likely have slightly different cook times (garlic will likely take a little longer) so remove them accordingly. The squash should be browned around the edges and the garlic cloves should be very soft. 

While they are roasting, cook the lentils and prep the kale and cabbage:

  • Place the lentils and waters in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. You want the lentils to be tender, but still have a bite to them. Drain and rinse. 
  • Place the chopped kale and cabbage in a salad serving bowl and set aside. 

When the garlic is done, make the cashew cream:

  • Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, then remove the cloves from the skin and place them into a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients for the dressing. Run the blender on high until you have a smooth consistency. If you need to, add more water little by little until you have the consistency you desire (but be careful you do not add too much water), you want it to have some thickness to it. 

Assemble the salad:

  • Start by dressing and massaging the greens. Pour a little less than half of the cashew cream over the kale and cabbage, and massage it in using your fingers. Sprinkle the pomegranates on top and finish with the squash. Drizzle the last bit of the cashew cream over top and serve immediately.