Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

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This is a great gluten free, meat free, diary free meal; densely packed with protein and super foods

It is lovely and warming as autumn changes to winter

It works well as a dinner or leftovers for lunch

This recipe is adapted from a food network recipe

Ingredients

  • One (2lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾ inch chunks
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 15 shelled pistachios
  • 5 cups/250g Quinoa
  • 4 cups/800ml water/vegetable broth
  • ¼ cut dried cranberries, c. 15-20
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • zest of half a lemon (optional)

(Optional extras: You can substitute the squash for pumpkin or even sweet potato. You can use roasted hazelnuts instead of pistachios or slivers of almonds. I also added some micro basil and a swirl of glazed balsamic for presentation.)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400f/200c
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
  • Place the squash or equivalent in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the oil, the thyme and 2 teaspoons of salt and season with pepper to taste. Mix until the squash is well coated. Transfer to the baking sheer and spread the squash into a single layer. Roast until a toothpick slides through with no resistance, c. 30 minutes, turning once.
  • Put the pistachios or hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes or until fragrant
  • Whilst the squash is in the oven, rinse the Quinoa in cold water
  • Bring the broth or water to the boil, stir in the Quinoa and simmer until a white spiral becomes visible in each grain, c. 10 minutes.
  • Drain the Quinoa and transfer to a medium bowl
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the roasted pistachios, cranberries and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and zest of one lemon (optional)
  • Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl and toss with the hot squash until slightly wilted
  • Add the Quinoa and toss again, serve warm
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