"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

November 8, 2011

Spiced Squash and Toasted Almond Quinoa

Having been on maternity leave for the last 13 months, I'll admit that I've watched my fair share of daytime television. But for all you haters out there, I'd like to point out that you can learn some really interesting and valuable things on some of these shows! For example, did you know that Anderson Cooper rarely eats anything other than boiled hotdogs? Or that you can incorporate your leftover Halloween pumpkins into your at-home workouts? Ok, so not everything is ground breaking! But it passes the time and if you're lucky you come away with a piece of information that is actually useful in everyday life. This recipe is a great example of that!

Aida Mollenkamp is a Food Network chef that was featured on daytime's Access Hollywood Live about a year ago. She prepared this recipe and it looked so good that I immediately looked it up online so I could make it that night! It was fantastic! I did make a couple minor adjustments in the preparation as well as by adding black beans...making it a nice hearty complete meal.

If you've never heard or tried quinoa in your kitchen, I highly recommend it! it's as simple as cooking rice and is truly a super food! It has a nice fluffy texture with a slightly nutty flavour. It comes in red or tan...I used the red quinoa in the picture but the color doesn't make any difference in the taste. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, making it especially valuable for persons suffering from migraine headaches, diabetes and cardiovascular problems (source).

Spiced Squash and Toasted Almond Quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups small-diced butternut squash
2 teaspoons ground cumin, coriander, and paprika
1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons salt, plus additional for seasoning
3 cups vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon packed lemon zest
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 thinly sliced medium scallions
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread diced squash on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and cook for approximately 30 minutes (flipping once) or until fork tender but not too mushy.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and drain. Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add quinoa, and stir frequently until moisture evaporates and it makes a popping noise, 5-10 minutes. Add broth and 2 tsp of the salt, stir briefly and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa absorbs liquid and grains are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in roasted squash, black beans, lemon juice, zest, and scallions and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat on low-medium heat until heated through. Sprinkle almonds over the top and serve.


You can find this recipe on Aida Mollenkamp's blog Pairs Well with Food.