March 9, 2011

quinoa pie with butternut squash

Did you know that Quinoa is the only grain that is considered a complete protein?  This means that it offers every "essential" amino acid we as humans need from our diet.  But despite the description I just provided, quinoa is not boring!  It is delicious.  Try this recipe to find out. 

quinoa pie with butternut squash 
serves 8

1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs)
18 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tsp finely chopped
1/2 onion, cut into 1/4 in dice (about 3/4 c)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c quinoa
2 c low-sodium vegetable stock
4 oz Parmesan cheese
1 tsp coarse salt (such as sea salt)
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
cooking spray or pan oil of choice

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Brush 2 baking sheets with 1 tsp oil.  Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, removing all skin.  Cut the squash in half length-wise, and remove seeds with a spoon.  Beginning at the ends where you removed the seeds, cut five slices (1/4 inch thick each).  This creates a "C" shape.  Cut the slices from both halves, giving you 10 total slices (of halves).  Place the slices on the baking sheets.  Brush with 1 tsp olive oil; sprinkle with 12 sage leaves.  Bake until tender and just golden, 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely.  Keep oven on. 

Heat remaining teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring, until translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add quinoa and stock; bring to a boil.  Cover; reduce heat.  Simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Let stand, covered, 2 minutes.  

Stir together quinoa, dices squash, chopped sage, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  

Coat a 9 in glass pie plate with cooking spray.  Arrange 6 sage leaves face down in plate; top with squash rings.  Press quinoa mixture on top.  

Bake 20 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter.  Cut into slices (like a pie).  Serve wedges warm or at room temperature.