Fall vegetables abound in gardens and farmers markets alike right now, and at the moment we can’t get enough delicata squash. It roasts quickly and unlike other squash with tough skin, you can eat the outside — no peeling required. Combined with caviar / beluga lentils and brown rice, served alongside steamed greens and avocado, and enhanced with a balsamic vinegar-dijon mustard mixture and seasoning — delicata squash remains the heart of this meal but is so well-accompanied by the other ingredients. This recipe comes together quickly (especially if you have leftover brown rice at the ready to use, which we happened to have on-hand) and is incredibly satisfying and filling, very delicious and very nutritious.
Lentils are a staple in our kitchen, and should be for anyone eating mostly or fully plant-based — they’re full of protein, fiber and important vitamins (i.e., folate, thiamine, vitamin B6) and minerals (i.e., manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper) and are a versatile component of many warm or cold dishes.
This serves 2-4 people, depending on appetites. Also makes for great leftovers!
- 2 delicata squash
- 5 oz greens (a few large handfuls)
- ½ cup dry beluga lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar (best if aged and a bit thick)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt or himalayan salt
- ground pepper
- garlic powder
- cayenne powder
- hot sauce
- Preheat toaster or regular oven to 410 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Wash the squash and pat dry. Cut the very ends off of each, and slice lengthwise down the middle. Place on the parchment paper / baking tray skin-side down.
- In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and olive oil.
- Brush the dressing onto the top of each squash (you'll have leftover liquid). Season with a little salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne to taste.
- Bake the squash for 20-30 min, or until a fork shows it's soft.
- Cook the lentils in a small pot on your stovetop (typically estimate about 2 cups of water for ½ cup of dry lentils, simmered for 20-30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender but firm).
- While the lentils are cooking, steam your greens using your preferred method (i.e., bamboo steamer, metal pot steamer, etc.).
- Once the lentils are done, add the cooked brown rice and chia seeds into the pot of lentils and stir. Add a few drizzles of leftover dressing to the mixture, along with seasoning, and stir to combine.
- Plate the squash and scoop the lentil-rice mixture into each to fill. Add steamed greens and avocado to each plate, and top with a drizzle of remaining dressing, salt and pepper to taste and hot sauce to taste.