If you’ve never cooked quinoa (KEEN-wa) before, give it a shot with this recipe. Quinoa looks a bit like couscous (the latter is actually a pasta) and quinoa tastes a bit chewier than rice when cooked. Quinoa is a whole grain, so it’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, making it a great way to reduce your meat intake. Per serving, quinoa gives you more protein than a 1 ounce serving of boneless, baked chicken breast and it has zero cholesterol. The cholesterol in this recipe comes from the cheese.
Nutrition info is from the original recipe, but I believe the fat grams and sodium are much less with this adaptation.
- One 1-1/2 lb. butternut squash peeled and diced OR
- one 20 oz. package peeled and diced butternut squash pieces (frozen)
- 1 cup organic quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. shallots or onions
- 1/2 cup egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters or 2 egg whites
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 slice bread, preferably Italian
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Spray a 2-quart baking or gratin dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- If using pre-cut butternut squash, pierce the package a few times with a fork and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until squash is soft and tender. If using a whole squash, peel and cube it into small pieces.
- Most quinoa sold today, even organic, has been prewashed. If your packaging does not say it’s prewashed, then wash the quinoa in a fine sieve thoroughly. Quinoa has a bitter protective coating that can linger somewhat.
- Transfer the warm squash and quinoa to a large (2 or 3-quart) pot.
- Add water and salt to pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa blooms into tiny spirals.
- Remove from heat and let rest.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan.
- Add shallots or onions and cook 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook a minute or two longer, being careful not to let garlic burn. Stir the eggs or egg substitute together with 3/4 cup of the cheese in a small bowl.
- Pour over quinoa and squash mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste mixing thoroughly.
- Transfer to prepared baking or gratin dish.
- Pulse bread in a food processor or blender a few times until fine bread crumbs are formed.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs over gratin.
- Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on top.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
153% Vitamin A, 26% Vitamin C, 20% calcium, 17% iron