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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

Ah, quinoa. As if there weren't already enough reasons to love South America. (* What's Quinoa? Jump down.) This chilly fall weather left me itching to do something with butternut squash, so I threw it together with some quinoa and this delightful little recipe was born. The roasted butternut squash and toasted walnuts are great with the "fluffy and creamy, yet slightly crunchy, delicate, somewhat nutty flavor" of the quinoa. Sounds too good to be true, eh? It's not.

For the roasted squash:
1 medium Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
Fresh Rosemary (or thyme), chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

For the quinoa:
1 1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed
3 c. water or vegetable stock
1 t. kosher salt
1 T. olive oil
1/3-1/2 c. walnuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 400.
Peel and cube the butternut squash; chop the onion and rosemary. Toss squash, onion, rosemary, and salt in olive oil and roast until the squash begins to caramelize.
Meanwhile, bring the water or stock to a boil and cook the quinoa until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent.
Toast the walnuts then whiz them in the food-processor until fine or chop by hand as finely as you have the patience for.
Toss the cooked squash, walnuts, and quinoa.

* Quinoa has been cultivated in the Andes for over 5,000 years. The Inca considered quinoa a sacred food and referred to it as the "mother seed." Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. In addition to protein, quinoa is a very good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.

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