This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and we couldn't have asked for a nicer weekend in Toronto. The leaves on the trees are just about to peak with their beautiful fall colours of red, orange, yellow and the air was crisp and fresh.
On Sunday, my man (Walker) and I enjoyed a long walk all over the city and then I whipped up this side dish to bring to a family Thanksgiving dinner at Walker's Aunt's home in the evening.
The dinner was fabulous (not surprisingly, his aunt is a wonderful cook and his cousin made an incredible pumpkin pie with organic pumpkin and candied ginger -- it was foodgasmic) and everyone seemed to love my festive quinoa dish -- so I'm sharing the recipe with you all!
The fresh herbs made this dish fragrant and flavourful (plus gave it a megawatt dose of minerals and chlorophyll -- a divine blood cleanser/detoxifier); the butternut squash and dried cranberries made it festive and the pecans and goat cheese made it fulfilling. Butternut squash is loaded with antioxidants, especially the eye-friendly ones: beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Since you've probably read all about quinoa on my blog many times before I won't bore you with my love for it. If you want more quinoa recipes, then I've included some below.
Festive Quinoa Dish
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups filtered water
½ butternut squash, peeled, cubed
½ cup dried cranberries (organic and sulfite free)
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ red onion chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro and Italian parsley, chopped
Dressing: Juice of 1 whole lemon, 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, dash sea salt
Optional: 1 package of soft goat cheese
Quinoa: Bring water and quinoa to a soft boil, reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on for 12-15 minutes. Set aside once cooked.
Butternut squash: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place squash into a baking dish and pour about 1/8 of an inch of water into pan to prevent the squash from sticking. Baked for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
Prepare remaining ingredients. Place quinoa and butternut squash into a large bowl and combine. Add remaining ingredients and then finally, add the dressing. Be careful mixing all the ingredients together because you want to be cautious with the butternut squash so it doesn't break apart. Top with some crumbled goat cheese.
Serves 6 as a side dish.