What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Health food”? For most I’m assuming something bland or boring or worst of all unappetizing! Well over the years I’ve learned that if I want someone to try a new “healthy” recipe, I don’t tell them it’s healthy. I just say hey try this Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto. They think mmmm creamy risotto (not mmmm health food). But guess what, it’s health food in disguise, it’s like a ninja.
I’ve found this especially important around the holidays. No one wants to touch your “health food” when they are in eat everything mode with extra baggy sweatpants on (or is this just me??) Trick your friends and family into health food this year.
Butternut Squash Risotto…
Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto….
Super velvety, soft butternut squash is paired with quinoa that has been cooked with shallots and garlic and prepared risotto style leading to an lusciously creamy dish. Honesty moment here: I may or may not have licked the bowl clean. I paired this quinoa risotto with seared sea scallops. The sweetness of the butternut squash paired with the sweet scallops about sent me over the flavor edge. I just could not get enough.
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Luckily, I have an abundance of butternut squash and more quinoa than I know what do to with (this girl has memory problems and picks up a bag every time I’m out shopping). But now that I have a new favorite way to prepare quinoa, one that I’m pretty sure you will equally enjoy, I think that abundance of quinoa will diminish quickly. I have had quinoa risotto on my “to make list” for so long, I was inspired by the great Ina Garten for this dish like 5 years ago watching Food Network.
But honestly, I don’t have 50 minutes to devote to one dish, which is why I decided to use quinoa to achieve the flavors and textures I was looking for. I will make real deal risotto soon, maybe on a day when I’m stuck at home and it’s snowing outside. Until then you better believe I’ll be making this dish again.
Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto
- In a large pot, sautee the shallots, garlic and salt over medium low heat for 3 minutes until softened.
- Add 1 1/2 cups water to vegetable mixture. Turn heat up to medium, medium high.
- Rinse and drain quinoa.
- Add quinoa to the water and veggie mixture. Allow to cook covered for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, most of the water should be absorbed. turn the heat to medium, medium low.
- Add 1/2 cup butternut squash puree and stir into quinioa.
- Add 1/4 cup water at a time to butternut squash and quinoa mixture.
- Once absorbed, add additional 1/4 cup water until desired consistency.
- Continue stirring occasionally. After 5-7 minutes, take off heat and enjoy.
Optional additions include:
Seared sea scallops (omg amazeballs)
Pancetta or Bacon? Looks like Ina enjoys this with pancetta… so feel free to add some if you roll that way!
What About You?
- Have you ever made quinoa risotto?
- Do you have a “must make” list?
- Sweatpants or yoga pants to get your eat on?