This is quite possibly my favorite quinoa dish yet. 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.
Delicious and filling (with leftovers) alongside some roasted chicken for the meat eaters. Does take some time to come together, however. The squash took about 40 minutes to roast, and a good bit of time to peel.
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, salt, and the spices, then baked them uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. They could have been microwaved or baked for less time, as they were very soft, but 20 minutes seemed perfect for the apples. Much easier, and as delicious a treat as ever!
UPDATE (2/9/12): The cheating way, which thankfully turned out incredibly delicious… sliced the squash, splashed it with vinegar and sprinkled with spices, and nuked it 10 minutes, then let it cool enough to handle and peeled and cubed it. Threw in some fresh green garlic and microwaved it for one more minute until wilted, then mixed in quinoa and some chopped almonds since I realized the last apple got eaten a few hours beforehand. Yum!
Butternut squash & apple quinoa
1 butternut squash
1-2 apples, chopped (I prefer green, but any type works)
Several generous sprinkles each (or to taste): coriander, ginger, allspice, chili powder and/or cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
A few splashes apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp. of oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, or roasted squash or “pepino” pumpkin seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice squash into half moons and remove seeds. Trim off skin with a paring knife, then chop into small cubes. To shorten the cooking time and make them easier to peel, you can precook the slices for 5-7 minutes in the microwave, until they soften slightly. Place in a non-stick baking pan, mix with oil, salt and pepper, and spices. Toss in the oven for 20-40 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and cook in a large pot with water for about 15-20 minutes, or until fluffy and moist, but no longer sticky. While quinoa is cooking, sauté garlic in oil for a few minutes, then add chopped apples. Or simply throw the apples, coated in a bit more oil and seasonings, in the same roasting pan with the squash. (I usually give the squash a 10 minute head start while I start the quinoa and chop the apple.)
Mix apples, squash, and quinoa together, mix in a little oil and a few splashes of vinegar, adjust seasoning to taste, and enjoy!