I borrowed this recipe from a magazine I receive on a weekly basis. The recipe was titled Quinoa with Hidden Sweet Potatoes in the honor of the hidden miracle behind the story of Purim. I modified this recipe by using squash instead of sweet potato and adding leeks and fresh sage instead. I like sweet potatoes but I happen to be more partial towards squash. You may think that squash is overused in my recipes but I can never use it enough. It literally has the Pavlov effect on me besides chocolate. Plus there are family members who don’t particularly like sweet potato so squash was my alternative. Now that Purim has past, this quinoa recipe would make a great gluten-free side dish idea for Passover. Quinoa recipes offer many variations. What I like cooking with quinoa the most is that I can almost incorporate any ingredient I want and it’s still a complete yet light side dish. Most vegan recipes happen to be side dishes and quinoa happens to be one of my favorite. Not only quinoa is easy to digest and healthy, it is also versatile. You can create your own variation but right now I am using the ingredients I have. If I wanted to, I could have added toasted almonds to the mix as well. I could have minimally added toasted pumpkin seeds if I wanted to. Nuts, seeds, all the above or neither, this vegan and gluten-free side dish serves well with roasted chicken or fish. Or you can eat it as it is. Certain side dishes are filling by itself. If I am in the mood for a light meal, I won’t normally serve anything else.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 medium leek, light green and white parts cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of fresh sage chopped
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 2 cups of reduced sodium vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper for taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, squash, quinoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash and quinoa are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Yields 4 servings