Guido and I enjoy our hearty winter meals but also love to find yummy vegetarian meals as well. The base for this recipe is quinoa which is a great source of protein. This healthy alternative to a meat based menu is easy to prepare and makes a great meal with just a salad. It would even qualify as part of the recently touted Mediterranean Diet. Remember, recent research claims the Mediterranean Diet, which includes a glass of wine each day, has proven to
enhance health and longevity!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved crosswise and seeded
- 18 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
- 1/2 onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375º. Brush 2 rimmed baking sheets with 1 tablespoon oil. Cut 5 1/4 inch thick rings of squash; cut remainder into 1/4-inch dice. Place squash on sheets. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 12 sage leaves. Bake until tender and just golden, 15 to 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 to 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 Qinoa, diced squash, chopped sage, parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Coat a 9 inch 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. Serve wedges warm or at room temperature.