Quinoa has been around for thousands of years, but is just recently becoming a kitchen staple. It appeals to several different diets: It’s gluten-free, has balanced amino acids therefore being a complete protein (great for vegetarians) and is easily digestible. It looks like couscous, but unlike its North African twin, has a very slight crunch and is not a starch.
The trick to preparing quinoa is embellishing it with lots of flavor. Quinoa itself has very little flavor, but it takes on flavors its paired with. Cooking quinoa in stock and adding layers of flavorful veggies will transform quinoa into a fabulously delicious entrée.
If you have a health food store near you, I’ve found that this is a great place to buy quinoa from the bulk section. It’s much cheaper and fresher than buying packaged quinoa.
3 cups cubed butternut squash
Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
2 cups uncooked quinoa
2 & 1/2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
4 fat garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large bunch collards or kale (about 5 cups very thinly sliced)
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the squash cubes with a few tablespoons of evoo, spray a baking tray with non-stock spray, pile the squash onto the tray, season with sea or kosher salt and roast until lightly caramelized around the edges, about 20-30 minutes.
2) While squash is roasting, combine the quinoa and stock in t large saucepan. Cover and bring just to a boil then immediately turn the heat to low, keep covered and allow to cook slowly until all the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
3) Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with evoo and add in the minced garlic. Set over high heat and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, then add in the collards (or kale), turning them over to coat all the greens with evoo and garlic. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, uncover and sauté until greens are wilted but still deep green, about 10 minutes. Season with sea or kosher salt and remove from the heat.
4) Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork, then pile in the roasted squash and garlicky greens. Toss well, season with salt, if needed and drizzle with more evoo. Serve hot, warm or room temperature (even chilled, is good).
Serves about 8