I kind of ended up having Thanksgiving twice plus leftovers. How great is that!? I’m thinking this is going to be an annual dress rehearsal.
You can’t go wrong with the classics like stuffing and sweet potato (fill in the blank), but I always like to throw in something new that still respects the traditional dishes.
Sides are what truly captures my interest with meal. Maybe it’s because I am such a lover of vegetables.
I raided my pantry for grains and made this butternut squash & cauliflower quinoa taking the squash from the stash of root vegetables I had on the kitchen counter.
First I tossed the butternut squash and cauliflower in olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I roasted them together in the oven until they started to brown at the edges.
While the vegetables were roasting, I made the quinoa. I like using tri-colored quinoa.
Wanting a mix of textures and herby flavor, I added scallions, pistachios, sunflower seeds, chives and mint to the bowl. The mint gave it so much lift and aromatics.
I also stirred in goat cheese. If you are vegan, this addition can be definitely be left out.
To finish it off, I whisked together lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin salt and pepper. I’m a big fan of drizzling vinaigrette into grain bowls.
This butternut squash and cauliflower quinoa had just the right amount of fresh herbs and much-needed crunch.
It made it past the rehearsal stage and was a featured side at our Thanksgiving table. As expected, it was a big hit, and I’m pleased to say there were lots of requests for an encore performance at next year’s festivities.
Butternut Squash & Cauliflower Quinoa
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4-6
2 cups peeled & cubed butternut squash
1 pound cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup tri-color quinoa
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoons fresh chives
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the squash and cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender and the cauliflower is starting to brown.
Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let the quinoa cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, squash, cauliflower, scallions, goat cheese, pistachios, sunflower seeds, chives and mint.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir the vinaigrette into the quinoa.