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Roasted butternut squash and pine nut quinoa: gluten free, dairy free, vegan

Posted Sep 24 2012 7:05am

As we slowly head into autumn I’m getting back into warmer dishes that make the most of awesome seasonal ingredients, like this delicious roasted butternut squash and pine nut quinoa. Butternut squash is one of my absolute favourite cold weather veggies, it has such a fantastically sweet, rich flavour that goes with almost everything. I think it tastes best cut into little cubes and roasted with salt and olive oil, as in this recipe, as this way it becomes so unbelievably soft and tender that it just melts-in-you-mouth. Here it’s squishy nature allows it to blend perfectly with the grains of quinoa and juicy cherry tomatoes, while toasted pine nuts and long-stemmed broccoli add the all-important contrasting crunch! It’s really the ultimate combination of textures and flavours, a little sweet thanks to the squash yet perfectly savoury thanks to the nuttiness of the quinoa and pine nuts. I love the subtle hints of tangy lime and coriander too. They give the dish an even greater range of tastes, making it even more heavenly.

If you really want to take this dish to the next level though make a side of my avocado cream. It takes literally 2 minutes and I promise you it is so worth it. It takes it from delicious to maybe one of the best winter dishes. Smothering this veggie feast in rich, creamy, tangy avocado is just heaven.

You’ll be totally glowing after this meal too, including the avocado cream each plate has 4 beautiful servings of vegetables which provide you with almost every little piece of goodness that your body needs. Squash, for example, is bursting with most of the best vitamins and minerals from phytonutrients, to antioxidants, fibre, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and beta-carotene. The only thing missing is a little plant protein which is provided in full by the pine nuts and quinoa. Totally filling, totally healthy, totally awesome. You’ll be perfectly full and running around for hours after this!

Serves 2

- 1 squash

- 1 cup of quinoa

- 1/3 of a cup of pine nuts

- a dozen cherry tomatoes

- a large handful of long-stemmed broccoli

- 1 juicy lime

- a handful of fresh coriander

- olive oil


For the avocado cream see my recipe

Slice the squash in half and peel of the skin, before chopping it into little cubes. Place the squares on a baking dish drizzled with olive oil and salt and bake in a 190C oven for about 15 minutes, until deliciously soft.

While the squash cooks make the quinoa. Simply add it to boiling water and let it heat. Then chop the broccoli into segments and the coriander leaves into small pieces. After about 5 minutes add them and the lime to the cooking quinoa.

Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan on a high heat, this should take just 3 or 4 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn! They also won’t need olive oil as they release their own oil when heated.

Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and make the avocado cream.

Once the quinoa and the squash are cooked stir them together along with the pine nuts and cherry tomatoes. Once your have plated it add the avocado cream. Enjoy, it really is so delicious!

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