Last week I did not enjoy my lunch. In an effort to conserve, cook with what I had on hand, and trust in my kitchen creativity, I created a butternut squash and carrot soup, spiced with miso, ginger paste, and black pepper, for a slightly Asian flair. Now, my stovetop tastes all led me to believe I had created a warming, seasonal soup that would pack up well for two days worth of work lunches. Yet, for some reason, as I got over halfway through my soup I stopped loving my lunch. Something was missing- or was it that there was too much of something else? The flavor simply did not carry over to the next day.
So here I was, staring down another mason jar of soup that was supposed to be packed into the next day’s lunch bag, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. If you know me at all, you know I HATE wasting food, so I was then presented with a new challenge of re-purposing my sad soup.
Rather than use it as a soup, I thought why not turn it into a sauce! I’ve been keeping lunches fairly plant-based and so it was decided to keep the Asian inspiration going with some tempeh. Never cooked with tempeh before? I prefer its meaty, nutty texture and taste over tofu, and I find that pan-fried pieces hold well in the fridge so as to toss them into meals throughout the week. The base that would tie together my soup-sauce and tempeh was to be spaghetti squash boats, which will inevitably draw “you’re too healthy” eye rolls from my coworkers, but I could easily see this served over soba noodles or brown rice. With a little ingenuity, I am confident I’ll be enjoying not one, but two lunches this week!
What are your recipe flops turned successes?
Asian Inspired Spaghetti Squash Boats- serves 2
Ingredients for “soup sauce”
- 1 1/2 cups diced butternut squash soup
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste from Trader Joe’s, or 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions- *Remember, this soup was somewhat of a flop, so follow these directions loosely and “go with your gut”, it’s all gonna be re-purposed anyways.
- In a medium pot, combine squash, carrots, and stock, which should cover the vegetables, and if not, add a touch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are fork tender.
- Add ginger and miso to softened vegetables. Stir until combined, then turn off heat. Use an immersion blender or countertop blender to puree soup into a smooth, silky texture. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- 1 small to medium sized spaghetti squash
- 1 package Organic Flax Tempeh by Lightlife, or any brand of your choosing
- olive oil as needed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees to prepare the spaghetti squash. Slice squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds from both halves. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Lay squash halves cut-side down on a baking tray. Bake until able to pierce skin with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven and flip over to allow flesh to cool.
- While squash is cooling, prepare the tempeh. Remove entire block from package and cut into triangles. In a medium cast-iron skillet or pan, heat a small amount of oil. Pan-fry tempeh triangles, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove once cooked and let cool.
- Once squash is cool, use a fork to scrape insides into spaghetti strands. Place strands in a separate bowl. To the spaghetti squash, add the “soup sauce”. Mix until strands are well-coated.
- Add sauce covered spaghetti back to squash boats. Nestle in tempeh triangles and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!