Monday, February 13, 2017

Potato, Butternut Squash, & Black Bean Salad (Plus: Lunch Box Suggestions!)

When my refrigerator is organized I am happy.  What makes me even happier is having lots of options ready for packing lunches.  Yes, I do make my kids' lunches most days and it is something I cherish.  I must admit that when they were younger it sometimes seemed like a burden.  Now that they are teenagers it has become kind of a special bond that I share with them.  It's truly a way that I express my love to them.  They each take a bag lunch to school every day because  they prefer a homemade lunch.  That makes me feel pretty good - great, in fact!  I like to have items ready to layer in jars or use for sandwiches.  My daughters love egg-salad sandwiches and my son prefers roasted chicken with cheese and mustard.  Having these homemade items on hand in the refrigerator make packing lunches a breeze.  It also ensures a delicious and healthy meal.  If you open my refrigerator door on a Sunday or Monday night you will likely find several mason jars filled with delicious, ready-to-use items such as:
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • cooked french lentils
  • boiled yukon gold potatoes
  • sliced carrots
  • roasted butternut squash
  • cooked whole wheat cous cous
  • cooked quinoa
  • roasted or boiled chicken
  • homemade lemon and olive oil vinaigrette
This potato, butternut squash, and black bean salad can be layered with avocado, hard-boiled eggs, whole-wheat cous cous, feta cheese, etc. Another favorite option of mine is to slice up carrots and toss them with boiled potato and a little lemon vinaigrette to layer with romaine lettuce & hard-boiled eggs.  Roasting a large butternut squash can provide ingredients for this salad and you will have plenty extra to use in quesadillas, mini tamal cakes, or wheatberry salad.

Butternut Squash, Yukon Gold Potato, and Black Bean Salad
1 cup butternut squash, roasted, cut into cubes
1 cup potato, boiled, skinned, cut into cubes
6 ounces cooked black beans, drained & rinsed if canned
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon or lime and a few tablespoons of olive oil to make the vinaigrette

Place squash, potatoes, blackbean, and cilantro into mixing bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste and fold ingredients together with large spatula or spoon.  In small measuring cup or bowl whisk lemon (or lime) juice with olive oil until emulsified.  Drizzle half of  the vinaigrette over vegetables and taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.  Add more vinaigrette if desired but less is more!