Winter Squash and Curried Lentil Salad

Sometimes I get tired of hot squash- this is a fresh dish great for a balanced lunch- lentils are an excellent source of protein.

Ingredients
2 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ onion, chopped
1 small winter squash, or half a large one; halved
2 T butter
1 cup red lentils
2 T garam masala (available in supermarkets, or recipes can be found online for this spice mixture)
1 t red pepper flakes
2 t grated ginger (optional)
1 shallot bulb, minced
1 t black pepper
1 t salt
1 T parsley, chopped
goat cheese

Place the lentils in a strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
Place ½ tablespoon of butter under each squash half in a glass baking pan. Bake at 400 for 1 hour, or until fork-tender.
Melt the other tablespoon of butter in a pan, then add the onion and carrot.
Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
Then add the garlic, pepper flakes, ginger and lentils. Add a cup of water and stir. Cook covered, stirring occasionally until all the water has evaporated. If necessary, add more water (1/2 cup at a time) and cook until lentils are tender (you don’t want them to be watery.)
When the squash has finished roasting, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Add the shallot, salt and pepper, and mash. Add the lentils, and stir. Serve warm or cold, topped with goat cheese and parsley.

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