I’ve been wanting a Lorraine Pascale cookbook for a couple of years now, ever since first watching her BBC Christmas series. I love getting to know new cooks and being inspired by their fresh ideas. With Lorraine, I love the fact that she is an ex-model, she’s young, hip, and trendy and therefore a welcome addition to the world of (British) cookbook writers and TV personalities. Her specialty is “baking”, but not just of the sweet variety. Lorraine considers baking to include anything that can be cooked in an oven, which just so happens to be my favorite method of cooking as well. (To buy her cookbooks, click here)
Last week my colleague generously allowed me to borrow her cookbooks (a dangerous thing to do – I didn’t want to give them back! At least my colleagues know what to buy me for my birthday this year …) and one of the recipes that struck me was this butternut pumpkin recipe (I say pumpkin, you say squash). It seems to tick so many boxes. It’s healthy (quinoa is one of the most healthiest grains available), vegetarian (yet still satisfying), and perhaps most importantly, at least to me, is that it looks fiddly while in reality it’s incredibly simple. The only catch, as with all baked foods, is that it does take an hour to cook. But, it’s so easy to prepare and assemble that it’s still included in my weekday meal repertoire.
I’ve added a few of my own touches to Lorraine’s recipe, including the addition of lemon juice (I just can’t eat quinoa without it) and ground cumin instead of fennel seeds (mainly because I didn’t have any fennel seeds on hand at the time, but also because I love the combination of cumin and pumpkin).
I do however have one disappointment to share regarding this recipe. Meneer Prins has developed a dislike of quinoa (he only ever tried one particular recipe but immediately declared his permanent dislike). When I tasted this particular dish before serving it to Meneer Prins, I was convinced that he would change his opinion – I mean, what is there not to like about this dish? However, Meneer Prins is a hard nut to crack, and so unfortunately this one isn’t a keeper, at least not as far as he is concerned. For me – it’s possibly my favorite vegetarian dish to date!