Butternut squash & apple quinoa

This is quite possibly my favorite quinoa dish yet, neck to neck with the avocado quinoa salad. A perfect steaming winter dish! Inspired by a recipe for gingery quinoa stuffed acorn squash from Allrecipes and lemony quinoa with butternut squash from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

With a salad, it was delicious and filling (with leftovers) for three hungry adults… may have been enough for four. But be warned, it is a far-cry from quick and easy! The squash took about 30 minutes to roast, and a good bit of time to prep.

I prepared this with a small amount of red pepper and walnuts, but these didn’t seem to contribute much, so I have left them out of the recipe.

Might be interesting to see if the apples and garlic could be roasted with the squash (for less time) instead of being sauteed.

UPDATE (12/11/11): Gave the squash a head start in the microwave — gut it, cut it into eights, and zapped it for 10 minutes in a covered glass casserole dish. This made them much easier to peel and ensured tender pieces of squash in the dish. I then chopped them into chunks, added chopped apples to the bowl, tossed them with a little olive oil, vinegar, and the spices, then baked them uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. They could have been microwaved a little less time, as they were very soft, and/or been baked for less time, but 20 minutes seemed perfect for the apples. Much easier, and as delicious a treat as ever!

No apples? Almonds complement this dish perfectly.

UPDATE (2/9/12): The cheating way, which thankfully turned out incredibly delicious… just peeled and chopped it, splashed it with vinegar and sprinkled with spices, and nuked it 10 minutes. Threw in some fresh green garlic and nuked it for one more minute until wilted, mixed in quinoa and some chopped almonds since I realized the last apple got eaten a few hours beforehand. Yum!

Butternut squash & apple quinoa

Can't go wrong!

1 large butternut squash

Several splashes apple cider vinegar

Cinnamon

Ginger

Allspice

Cayenne

1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cup water

1/2 tbsp. of oil

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 apple, chopped

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Slice into bands and trim off skin with a paring knife, then chop into small cubes. Place in non-stick baking pan, mix with a small amount of oil and a few splashes of vinegar, and sprinkle with cinnamon, allspice, and salt and pepper. Toss in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring and replenishing with a bit more vinegar every 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and cook in a large pot with water for about 15-20 minutes, or until fluffy and moist, but no longer a sticky glob. While quinoa is cooking, sauté garlic in oil for a few minutes, then add apples. After a few minutes sprinkle with all of the spices and a little vinegar and cook for 5 minutes or so.

Mix apples, squash, and quinoa together, season to taste, and enjoy!

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