Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, pine nuts and feta…what’s not to like! I often try new recipes to share with others so my Book Club buddies were once again Guinea Pigs. This recipe takes a while to prepare but well worth the effort!
QUINOA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PINE NUTS & FETA
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large onions, sliced
2 pounds cubed butternut squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
French Vinaigrette salad dressing (add generous amounts of dressing to individual portions)
1/2 cup Feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Peel the squash and slice it into 3/4 inch cubes, about 2 pounds. Toss the squash cubes in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt.
- Put butternut squash on the greased baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until soft. Flip the squash cubes over midway through baking. Cool slightly before adding to the salad.
Caramelize the Onions:
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. When oil is heated, add onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly string with wooden spoon. The onions will start to brown, but not brown.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 additional minutes, continuing to stir as onions brown even more. Add a pinch of salt over the onions.
- Continue cooking the onions for 10 more minutes on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t stick to the pan. Add a bit of water if the onions begin o stick. Total cooking time is 30 minutes.
- Remove the onions from the heat and sprinkle onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Using the wooden spoon, mix the onions scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
Assembling the salad:
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, and mix with the dressing. Add the dressing only before the serving, and add as much as you want to individual portions, as both quinoa and butternut squash tend to be on a dry side, and this dressing (when generously applied) fixes this beautifully!
- Top each individual serving with Feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Note: This salad keeps very well refrigerated for up to a week, but only without dressing. Add the dressing before serving.
Our girls LOVED Broccoli Rice Casserole when they were growing up and this recipe sounded delicious using quinoa instead of the traditional rice. They were so yummy that I ate them for breakfast and as a side side for dinner. It would be great to add bits of ham or bacon for a ‘grab and go’ breakfast dish.
QUINOA BROCCOLI CHEESE BITES
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water (or vegetable or chicken broth)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups broccoli florets, finely diced
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
crushed red pepper (optional) to taste
- In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa and water (or broth) and cook according to package directions. Let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins.
- In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, eggs, broccoli, onion, garlic, cheese and paprika.
- Put a heaping tablespoon of quinoa mixture into prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove from pan to cool completely.
Cranberry and Mango Quinoa Salad is a favorite salad shared by friend, Chris, at many of our Book Club and pot luck dinners. Finally, I decided to prepare it and savored every serving. I’ve also tried adding other ingredients to add variety, including bits of turkey or slices or fresh avocado.
This salad is great for summer meals and gatherings.
CRANBERRY AND MANGO QUINOA SALAD
2 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup fresh kale or spinach in bite size pieces
1.5 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks (one to two fresh mangos should yield just about 1.5 cups)
1.5 c cubed melon (I used Honeydew)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted/optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
pinch of salt
- Bring water to boil and cook quinoa per the instructions. Cool.
- Add kale (or spinach), mango, melon, almonds, and cranberries to quinoa.
- Mix together Lemon poppy seed ingredients and pour over quinoa salad.
- Serving Option: Slice fresh avocado slices over top of salad.
Recipe adapted from Skinny Minz and Healthy Pursuit
Baked Avocado…a new adventure for me and I loved it. The idea of using avocado as the binding ingredient for quinoa, tomato, cheese was great and included all ingredients I love. This recipe is worth experimenting with and can easily be adapted for a vegan or vegetarian diet.
BAKED STUFFED AVOCADOS
2 large ripe avocados
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used a mix of plain and Tri-Colored Quinoa from Trader Joe’s)
1 medium-sized tomato, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice avocados lengthwise and remove the pit by gently tapping it with a large sturdy knife.
- Scoop the avocado from the shell with a spoon and place in a mixing bowl. Add quinoa, tomatoes, feta, salt and pepper. Mix to combine, but leaving hunks of avocado.
- Place the hollow avocado shells on a baking sheet and carefully fill each with the mixture. (I found that I had more filling that the shells would hold and baked the remainder in a small greased casserole dish).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is sufficiently melted.
recipe slightly adapted from P&G Everday
I am a protein breakfast person. Straight carbs just don’t last for me. If I eat cereal or toast, I’m starving in an hour. My typical breakfast is either Greek yogurt or an egg, with a strong cup of coffee. My dear friend, Jan, told me about this wonderful recipe.
I modified the original recipe to fit my taste buds and loved the results. The next morning I reheated in the microwave and they were equally as good and filling. Hello breakfast for the week!
QUINOA OMELETTE BITES
1 cup quinoa, warm
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 egg white & 1 whole egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced green or red bell peppers
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Chop and microwave, on high, the onions and peppers, for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix the warm quinoa with the cheese to melt the cheese. Add the eggs, garlic, salt, spinach, peppers and onion. Stir to combine all ingredients.
- Spoon mixture into mini muffin tins, filling to the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tins. Run a small knife around the edges to loosen and pop out of the tins.
Recipe adapted from Tablespoon.com
Cilantro is an herb that people either LOVE or HATE. I’m on the love side of Cilantro. It brings such a fresh, aromatic addition to select dishes, including this Vinaigrette and Salad. This Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette was a discovery a few years ago and I love it, especially on a summer Quinoa Salad, enjoying the salad throughout the week.
CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small jalapeno pepper (or less) chopped
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1.5-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- Put all ingredients in food processor or blender. Pulse until ingredients are blended. Shake before serving.
- To prepare the quinoa, cook 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid (water or chicken broth) for 15-20 minutes. Drain. Cool.
- Then I throw in whatever I have on hand: onion, peppers, beans (garbanzo or black beans), carrots, celery, tomatoes, etc. I’ve never had a combination I didn’t like. You can use it as a side dish or add a protein to make it an entrée.
Quinoa is a staple in my pantry and I’ve been anxious to try a quinoa breakfast dish. Pecan Quinoa Breakfast Bowl has, again, been in my stack of ‘must make’ recipes and it didn’t disappoint. It’s slightly sweet and protein-rich.
I believe this recipe could easily be adapted to Vegan/Vegetarian by using almond milk (or water) and vegan butter.
The leftovers will be saved for another day…cold or reheated.
PECAN QUINOA BREAKFAST BOWL
2 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup dried craisins or raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in quinoa, cranberries and butter.
- Cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in pecans, honey, salt cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Spoon quinoa mixture into four bowls. Top each serving with additional chopped pecans, milk, honey or brown sugar.
Serves four. Recipe from Relish.com and the Georgia Pecan Commission
Summer vegetables and Quinoa is the perfect combination. This recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats. I follow her blog and love her recipes! Her blog name, alone, was enough to bring me to her blog…Iowa girls stick together!
I loved this dish and the wonderful summer vegetables. I substituted roast red peppers for the sundried tomatoes with great results. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup quinoa
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped kale
1 small zucchini, chopped
salt & pepper
2 ears sweet corn kernels (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, cut into strips (or roasted red peppers or both!)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
shaved or fresh grated parmesan cheese, for topping
- Bring scant cup chicken (or vegetable) broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve under running water (quinoa is coated in a natural, bitter coating that needs to be rinsed off) then add to saucepan, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, then cook until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots then sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper flakes then sauté for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
- Turn heat up to medium-high then add kale and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper then sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add corn and sun-dried tomatoes then sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Add white wine then scrape up brown bits from bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. When wine is nearly gone, add peas then stir to combine. Add chicken broth and cooked quinoa then cook until broth is absorbed. Remove skillet from heat then add basil and stir to combine. Taste then add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve topped with freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese.
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Quinoa salad can be found in my refrigerator about 50% of the time. Quinoa is full of protein and a great substitute for pasta or rice and great if you are trying to avoid gluten.
The combinations with quinoa are endless. I select vegetables that are in season toss with Gazebo Room Greek salad dressing (or your favorite vinaigrette) and you have a wonderful salad.
This salad has become a favorite at our book club, potluck gatherings made by different people with their own wonderful variations. What variations have you tried?
SUMMER QUINOA VEGETABLE SALAD
2 cups water (or your favorite stock)
1 cup dry quinoa
- Bring water to boil. Add quinoa, cover and return to boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
- Chop your favorite vegetables (broccoli, tomatoes, celery, carrots, corn, onions, peppers, etc.). I also add a can of drained garbanzo beans.
- Dress with your favorite vinaigrette (I used Gazebo Room Greek Salad Dressing). This great dressing was introduced to me by friend, Chris (aka Grandson Evan’s other grandma). Since Gazebo Room is not available (yet?) in Colorado, we order from their website. Still working on King Soopers to carry this great product!
Chill and serve. The salad keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.
Also reference my recipe for Quinoa Salad with Strawberries and Chicken
Salsa Chicken in the crockpot is a simple, hearty dish and perfect to serve for a crowd. You can easily modify the recipe to match your taste, adding more vegetables, hotter chiles, etc.
I’m trying to avoid simple carbs so I served over quinoa with sliced fresh tomatoes. It would be fun to serve the chicken in a buffet with a variety of serving options (outlined below) to allow the guest to make their own finished product.
SALSA CHICKEN IN THE CROCKPOT
2 pounds chicken breasts (if large, cut in half)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
7 oz. can diced green chiles
16 ounce jar of salsa
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
salt and pepper
- Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot and season with salt and pepper.
- Add corn, beans, chiles and salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or 8 hours on low.
- About an hour before serving, shred the chicken in the crockpot and let simmer until ready to serve.
- Serve with fresh tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, or salsa as you like.
- Serving options: Use as filling in burritos or tacos. Serve over quinoa, baked potato, rice or noodles.