Do you ever stop yourself and say “Man, if I had a reality show, people would think I’m either incredibly boring or extremely weird.” Well, today I thought that. And I think it a lot. I live in a high-rise apartment building (49 floors), and I’m on the 30th floor. Our windows face another building that’s built perpendicular to ours. It’s about three-quarters of a football field away and in between us is the pool/deck. I promise I’m not just bragging about where I live, I’m trying to paint a picture, so bare with me.
Long story short, you can see pretty well into the other building’s apartment units. Every morning, I sit down at my desk and when I take that first sip of coffee, I look out of my window and see into the lives of the people across the way. What do I see?
I see a lot of normal stuff, unfortunately. You know, people making their bed, closing their blinds to get dressed, making breakfast, fiddling around with things on their dressers and tables. Actually, one man always sits down at his desk around the same time that I do (8:00am) and I feel like we’re connected. Maybe he’s a food blogger too?
At night, things get a bit more interesting, but I haven’t seen anyone chop their date up into bits.
I think about what people might have thought about me this morning. At first, it looks like I’m fiddling in my kitchen, cooking. I may do a little twerking or dancing, if I’m in the mood. Next I’m setting up boards and panels and a tripod. Then, I start getting weird – standing on the couch, kneeling in awkward positions to get the right angle, and draping things on my windows. Today, I literally sat down with my remote trying to snap a shot of me dropping goat cheese on top of this dish. Literally, for 25 minutes. It didn’t work, I couldn’t get the shot.
While all this goes down, I often think “the people across the way either think that I’m insane, a mad scientist or a food photographer.” Do I care? No. Is it funny to think about? Yes.
Even though I couldn’t get the perfect shot of the goat cheese falling effortlessly from my spoon ladle onto the dish, it’s still wonderful. The spiced pumpkin seeds are simple to make and add such a kick to this meal, especially when forked with a sweet cranberry and the creamy goat cheese. These butternut squash noodles are quickly becoming a favorite – all you need to do is roast them for 5-8 minutes and they don’t really need a sauce, because they already have such a distinct flavor. Can regular wheat pasta do that?
Maybe next time I start to photograph a dish, I’ll pin a sign to my window that says, in big block letters, “INSPIRALIZED.COM“.
Roasted Butternut Squash Noodles & Quinoa with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese
- 3 " piece of butternut squash peeled, Blade C
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp raw hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cooked red quinoa
- 1 tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside when done.
- While the quinoa is cooking, coat a baking tray with cooking spray and spread out the pumpkin seeds. Coat the pumpkin seeds with cooking spray and season generously with salt. Then, evenly dust the seeds with the cumin and chili powder.
- Bake the pumpkin seeds for 5 minutes in the oven. When done, set aside.
- Change the heat on the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add the butternut squash noodles onto a baking tray coating with cooking spray. Drizzle half of the olive oil onto the noodles and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 5-7 minutes or until noodles have softened to your preference.
- Place the noodles in a bowl and toss with cranberries, spiced pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and the rest of the olive oil.
- Plate onto a bowl and top with goat cheese. Enjoy!