September 03, 2011

Quinoa and butternut squash pie

A few weeks ago we got back from our South America trip and had nothing in the fridge to eat except a butternut squash and some onions. I thought it would be fitting that I make a dish using quinoa, a grain that originated in the Andean region of South America. I tried a few quinoa dishes while we were there including chicken and quinoa soup and quinoa salad and loved their many uses for the now popular "super grain."

Whenever I make quinoa, it seems to turn out too dry and sticky. The quinoa I had in Peru was moist and flavourful and the little beads just popped in my mouth. This recipe from Martha Stewart Living calls for chicken stock while cooking the quinoa, which I think adds a lot more flavour to it than normal.

Quinoa and Butternut Squash Pie (full recipe here)

1 butternut squash, peeled, halved (plus a few slices for the top decoration)
A handful of fresh sage leaves
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 cup quinoa
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of kale


1. Brush butternut squash with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion, garlic and cook until translucent for 3-5 minutes. Add kale.
3. Cook quinoa and stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
4. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with margarine or cooking spray. Add a few butternut squash slices and sage leaves.
5. Mix quinoa, squash, sage, parmesan, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Add to pie plate.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cook for 5 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. Serve with a side salad or cottage cheese. Makes a great packed lunch too.
I will post some pictures and stories of my trip soon, so stay tuned!

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