Sunday, November 18, 2012

Squash Recipe #3: Squash and Quinoa Bake

Here's our third way to use up squash from your garden.  This is a recipe I'd copied a few years ago out of Sharon Astyk's book Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation (published in 2009) but hadn't gotten around to making it until now.  In the book, it's called "Creamy Quinoa and Butternut Squash".

The recipe says it serves four.  Since DH doesn't care much for quinoa (its a new thing for us and totally foreign to his raised-on-meat-and-potatoes palate), I made this on a night when it was just going to be me and DD2 eating.  I figured we'd have half the pan leftover, and that it would make a nice lunch for me for a couple of days.

Maybe we just weren't all that hungry or something, but the night I served this (and only this--since quinoa is high in protein, no meat was needed), we ate maybe 1/3 of it and were absolutely stuffed.  It ended up lasting for 3 meals each.  So I'd say it serves six instead of four.

Unfortunately no pictures to go along with the recipe, but here's the recipe if you want to try it for yourself.  DD2 and I both loved the flavor and the texture.  And we discovered that the leftovers are pretty good pan fried!

Creamy Quinoa and Butternut Squash
1 2-pound butternut squash peeled, cleaned and diced
1 cup quinoa
1 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp shallots (I used regular onion)
2 eggs
1 tsp sugar
1 cup yogurt
shredded cheese if desired (we desired; I used parmesan)

Steam the squash just until tender.  Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a colander and rinse it very thoroughly (5 minutes or so).  This is really important as quinoa has a bitter protective coating.

When the squash is tender, mash it and the quinoa together in a pot.  Add water and salt to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and the quinoa 'blossoms' into little spirals.  Remove from heat and let rest.

While that is resting, heat olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan.  Add the shallots (onion) and cook 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook a minute or two more, being careful not to let the garlic burn.  Pour this over the quinoa/squash mixture and stir in thoroughly.  Add eggs, yogurt, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour everything into a greased 8" x 8" pan and top with the cheese if using.  Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown.  If I remember right, that was 25 minutes (?? I confess, the original recipe doesn't state a length of time and I don't remember exactly how long I cooked it).

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