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Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stew

October 7, 2011

Ok, so it’s fall. Amazing beautiful perfect colorful breezy weather. It is also October. My favorite month of the year. Yay!

This week, we harvested “Fat Boy,” Mom’s third watermelon of the year, and also the tastiest. We sadly discovered the fourth watermelon, now named “DUDley,” exploded in the middle of the melon patch. It was with great ceremony that his remains were tossed into the back yard for the animals and in hopes that his seeds will create even better melons next year. The cucumbers, on the other hand, are still cranking out like an assembly line. Pickles, pickles and more pickles in our future!

^watermelon murder scene

And finally, in an excellent welcome to this lovely month, the organic vegetables arrived this week with a butternut squash in the mix. Having little experience with these, I decided we had to try something a bit trickier than simply roasting it. I found this recipe for Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chili...but after making it, we decided it is more like a stew. I added a few things, because I think our squash was bigger than the recipe called for and we also wanted it a bit more soup-like. (pictured below with Mom’s homemade sourdough crackers)

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stew:

3/4 cup quinoa, cooked (thats 1.5cups water)

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled, cubed and roasted (400 for 10-15min)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp oregano

1 bay leaf

1-2 tsp crushed red pepper (if you want)

1 can vegetable broth

2 cans of chopped tomatoes

1 8oz can of tomato sauce

2 cans of beans (we used red and garbanzo)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F, put water onto boil for quinoa and begin to peel/chop the squash. Put squash on baking sheet and toss with oil, place in oven for 15min. Add quinoa to boiling water and turn to medium-low for 15min. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat and add chopped onions and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes. When the onions begin to soften, add spices, stir and cook 1-2min. Add squash, quinoa, broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Bring to a boil and then turn to low. Let it simmer at least 10 minutes before serving.

Yummm! This was an excellent stew. Lots of flavor and a nice sweet/savory contrast with the butternut. Fairly easy as well! I think the hardest part was peeling/cubing the butternut squash. But the whole recipe comes together in about a half hour and can be left on the stove to simmer if you’d like to relax (or go outside onto the deck and have a few glasses of wine) before dinner. Perfect! We made some biscuits (the kind you pop right into the oven from the freezer) to accompany this dish. Good idea. Biscuits are an essential part of good life.

^Armstong on the prowl

Enjoy!

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