Quinoa is a wonderful thing! Full of protein and fiber and good in so many things!!! After my daughters recent blockage, the doctor informed me we need to figure out a way for her body to absorb more fiber. So research began again, and well, Quinoa is very high in fiber and it is very versatile. So, experiments ensued, and here we are: Quinoa with Roasted Beets, Butternut Squash and Honey!
Quinoa with Roasted Beets, Butternut Squash and Honey
3 cups quinoa, soaked, rinsed and drained
5 small roasted beets, diced small – You can use pre-diced beets, or you can roast and dice them yourself . We just happened to have 5 beets that needed to be used up.
1/2 package of pre-cut butternut squash – you can roast and dice yourself. We just happened to have them pre-cut.
a pinch of Cinnamon
Grapeseed Oil – Olive Oil will work fine, we use Grapeseed because that is what we have.
a pinch of Salt
Before we do anything, we need to get the squash and beets cooked and the Quinoa soaking!
Quinoa is a grain that needs to be soaked and rinsed several times before the outer skin is soft to eat. To make the perfect Quinoa, place it into a bowl and fill with cool water. you want enough water to cover all of the grain. Some of it will float, this is okay. Gently stir with a spoon and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse in a fine mesh strainer and repeat the process 2 more times. The Quinoa will start to look like little alien space ships. This is what you want! After your final rinse, use.
Is it really worth all this effort? Yes!!! By not soaking it, for a least 30 minutes, the Quinoa will become hard and chewy when cooked, instead of soft and delicious.
Now that the Quinoa is soaking, place your beets onto a cookie sheet and drizzle with Grapeseed oil. Cook them low and slow at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, or until fork tender. IF you are roasting whole beets, the skin will start to bubble when they are read. Test them with a fork, just in to make sure they are indeed tender. The larger, or thicker, the beet, the longer it is going to need to roast. When the beets are fork tender, remove from oven and let cool on the sheet until needed.
While the Quinoa is soaking and the beets are roasting, place a pot of water on the stove and fill with the butternut squash. Bring the squash up to a boil and reduce the heat to about half. Cook until they are fork tender (about 10 minutes or so). Remove and cool in a bowl or plate.
At the same time, place the Quinoa into a pot and fill with water. If you place your index finger on top of the Quinoa, the water should come up to the first knuckle. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat to medium low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender and soft. Drain and pour into a large size bowl.
Add the beets and butternut squash to the Quinoa. Drizzle with Grapeseed oil and stir together. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Drizzle honey over the top to sweeten and serve. You can stir in the honey, or put it on the side for others to add it as they see fit.
If you are making this ahead of time, remember to freshen it up with a little extra oil and cinnamon before serving. Quinoa soaks up flavors as it sits.
To store: Place in Tupperware and refrigerate. Lasts for 2-3 days.
Roasting Whole Beets:
Place the beets cut side down on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with oil.
Place in the oven at 250* for 30 minutes, or until the skin blister\s and fork tender.
Once the skin has blistered, and are fork tender, remove from the oven and very very carefully peel away the skin. I use a fork to hold the beet and a serrated steak knife to gently cut/peel away the skin. Then cut into small cubes.
Roasting Butternut Squash:
Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. We like to use a spoon, but you can also use your fingers.
Lightly salt and pepper cut side, or the flesh, and sprinkle with oil.
Place cut side, or flesh side, down onto a cookie sheet with a little bit of water in it.
Place in an oven heated to 350* for 20 minutes, or until flesh is fork tender.
Remove from oven, using tongs, flip over and run a knife down the flesh into squares. Careful the squash will be hot! Using a spoon, scoop out the squares or if you can turn the skin inside out and cut off. Sliding the blade of knife between the skin and the squares you just cut. Cool and use.