Today I was quiet, recovering from an insanely busy few weeks that culminated with a meaningful, fun and gorgeous gala to benefit an organization that rescues women and children from the sex trafficking trade. It was a lot of work, but to see it all come together with new and longtime friends gathering in festive attire and merrymaking moods to contribute and change the lives of woman and children living in modern-day slavery was a beautiful thing.
Taking a day to relax was a luxury that I enjoyed immensely. I decided to be a domestic goddess…cleaned a little, organized and then I did what I always do to relax – I cooked at a leisurely pace and then enjoyed my healthy and pretty meal.
This is a beautiful side dish or vegetarian/vegan entree. It is gluten and dairy free, but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean all of the fun stuff has been taken out. With the exotic mix of sweet and savory flavors and spices, it is delicious!
|Roasted Butternut Squash with Curried Quinoa Stuffing|
- 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup sweet apple (I used 1 small Gala apple)
- ½ cup red onion, chopped coarsely
- ½ cup celery, diced small
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, raisins, or pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon peach or apricot jam, or mango chutney
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
- ¾ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Cut the butternut squash into 6 wedges, remove seeds and brush the exposed flesh with olive oil. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Place the squash on the sheet pan so that it is resting on one of the cut sides.
- Put the pan in the center position in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Flip the squash so it is on the opposite fleshy side and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes, until it is tender and browned.
- While the squash is baking, core and dice the apple (leaving peel on).
- Toss the apple in the teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Place 1 tablespoon olive oil into a pan over medium heat, add the onion, apple and celery and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Turn off the heat, add the curry powder, sage and jam and stir until the jam has melted and the mixture is combined.
- In a large bowl, toss the quinoa with the onion, apple and celery mixture. Add in the cranberries, raisins or pomegranate seeds and combine thoroughly.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the squash on a plate or platter and place a scoop of the quinoa mixture over it. Garnish with pepitas and pomegranate seeds.