Sunday, December 18, 2011

roasted butternut squash and quinoa.


this past thanksgiving, to complement the turkey and chicken liver stuffing already on my family's menu, i researched and plotted new ways to infiltrate the rest of their plates with whole grains and vegetables. and their desert bowl with a vegan, gluten free dessert. 

don't i sound like a lot of fun to have around on thanksgiving?!


dessert was this apple and apricot tart. side dishes included a leek, asparagus, and dill sauté, a simple side salad, and my favorite: a massive bowl of roasted butternut squash and rainbow quinoa. by the time i was finished preparing everything, it was dark out and people were hungry. this, as you might imagine, is not a prime time for food photography. i was able to snag a photo of the squash dish in time - the other dishes weren't as fortunate.

lucky for everyone, this one was probably the best of the lot. roast some butternut squash with fresh herbs, garlic, onion, balsamic, and oil. add it to a mound of quinoa and you have something that's almost a stuffing. note: the recipes makes a LOT, which is far from a problem. leftover options include (but are by no means limited to): adding it to salads,  using it in a wrap, or simply eating it straight out of the tupperware container with a spoon (hypothetically, of course).

quinoa and roasted butternut squash

2 cups rainbow quinoa
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into small-ish cubes
1 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

preheat oven to 375F.

combine the quinoa, salt, and vegetable stock in a pot over medium heat. bring to a boil, low the heat, and simmer. stir occasionally until the quinoa is tender (approximately 20 minutes). 

while the quinoa is doing its thing, toss the squash, onion, garlic, sage, and thyme with the olive oil, balsamic, and some salt in a baking pan. arrange (as much as possible) in a single layer and place in the oven for 20 minutes. toss the mixture every 5 to 8 minutes to get browning on both sides. remove from the oven and let cool.

in a serving bowl, toss the squash mixture with the quinoa. i only used 2/3 of the quinoa for a more squash-centric dish, but feel free to use it all depending on your preferences. add salt and pepper to taste. enjoy warm or at room temperature.