Book Club · New Traditions

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pine Nuts, Feta

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
salt
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.

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Favorite

Quinoa Broccoli Cheese Bites

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.

 

Family Favorites · My Roots

Old Fashioned Potato Salad…just like Mom used to make

Potato Salad was a must-have side dish for every picnic and barbecue.  My Mother made THE BEST potato salad ever and I can replicate it pretty well. There are no measurements, just a ‘pinch of this and a pinch of that’ type of preparation. When my Mother made it, she used onions from the garden and eggs from our farm.

My Potato Salad is pretty darn good, but you can never top what Mom could do!

POTATO SALAD

SALAD:
Boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes
Boiled, peeled and chopped eggs
chopped green onions (or sweet white onion)
celery seed (or chopped celery)

DRESSING:
mayonnaise
milk
prepared mustard
sugar
salt

  • Mix together potatoes, eggs, onions (and celery if desired).  Sprinkle with celery seed.
  • In separate bowl, mix mayonnaise with enough milk to thin to consistency of salad dressing. Add sugar and salt to taste.
  • Refrigerate for several hours before serving. The flavor is best the next day.