Whole Living Daily

Lunch Bunch: One Last Nod to Summer

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Fall is slowly peeking in around here, and as one of our lunch bunchers said "this meal is like one last nod to summer." It's getting a little cooler outside, and it seems that a lot of us are excited for the change of season. Today on our menu we had Quinoa with Spicy Roasted Broccolette, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese; Kale and Apple Salad; Lentil Salad with Feta and Mocha Fudge Pie (it's light, I promise!)

Quinoa with Spicy Roasted Broccolette, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

2 cups quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
3 bunches broccolette
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
3-ish oz. goat cheese
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil

Cut stems of broccolette and drizzle with olive oil, a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine and roast in a 425-degree oven for about 15 to 17 minutes until tender.  Bring quinoa and vegetable stock to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. (If the quinoa still looks a little crunchy, add a bit more stock and keep on the heat for a few minutes longer.) Let sit for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork. Combine with tomatoes, broccolette, and goat cheese.

Kale and Apple Salad

2 big bunches kale (any variety), roughly chopped
5 Fuji apples, sliced thin
Zest and juice of 5 lemons
2 tablespoons quality dijon mustard
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper

Place kale and apples in large bowl. In a small bowl,add the lemon zest and juice, mustard, and cheddar. Whisk in olive oil to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over kale and apples, and toss to coat.

Lentil Salad with Feta
For the cooked green lentils:
1 lb. green lentils
1 carrot, halved
1 celery stalk, cut into 3 pieces
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
About 5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

1 red onion, chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cook the lentils
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the lentils, carrot, celery, yellow onion, parsley sprigs and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and discard the vegetables. Spoon out 2 1/2 cups of the lentils for the salad. Set aside the remaining lentils to cool before storing for later use. In a bowl, stir together the red onion, bell pepper, chopped parsley and the 2 1/2 cups lentils. Stir in the vinegar and olive oil. Add the feta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Mocha Fudge Pie
recipe from Cooking Light

1/3 cup hot water
4 teaspoons instant coffee granules, divided
1/2  box light fudge brownie mix (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur, divided
1 (3.9-ounce) package chocolate-flavored instant pudding mix or 1 (1.4-ounce) package sugar-free chocolate-flavored instant pudding mix
3 cups frozen fat free, or organic whipped topping (I used truwhip)

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine hot water and 2 teaspoons coffee granules in a bowl; stir well. Add 2 cups brownie mix, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg whites; stir until well-blended. Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 22 minutes (brownie will be fudgy when tested with a wooden pick). Let cool completely on a wire rack. Combine milk, 2 tablespoons Kahlúa, 1 teaspoon coffee granules, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and pudding mix in a bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer 30 seconds. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Spoon pudding mixture into brownie crust; spread evenly. Combine 1 tablespoon Kahlúa and 1 teaspoon coffee granules in a bowl; stir well. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Spread whipped topping mixture evenly over pudding mixture. Garnish with chocolate curls. Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated.

Photography by Jillian Guyette

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