Chestnut & Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Chestnut Quinoa vegan recipe vegetarian prized recipe M&S
 
Update : Proud - this post won the Spice Trail Challenge themed my body is a temple -see round up here loads more healthy recipes.

#No Meat Monday or Meat Free Monday are initiatives part of a movement going back to early 2000 which aims at gently limiting our meat consumption on a regular basis. It's also a way of introducing vegetarian recipes in our diet or for vegetarian an opportunity to be exposed and explore different ingredients.
 
This recipe makes use of chestnuts, quinoa and pomegranate seeds. Three delicious ingredients which are often overlooked as they are unusual. What I call "curious ingredients"
 
Personally, I love chestnuts. A little bit annoying  that they make a brief appearance  at Christmas time only. I'd like to see more of them on menus. Of course, there is a "little" inconvenient: they are difficult to prepare. But where there is a will... there is a call for vacuum-packed chestnuts.
 
Quinoa which I associate with Gwyneth Paltrow's because there was a lot of nauseating  hype  around the tiny nutty tasting grain when she promoted her cook-book. For that totally irrational reason and for a while, I refused to try out quinoa, a silly thing to do as it's really full of flavour. This pulse is slightly expensive but it's really worth a try.
 
Pomegranate a favourite in Middle-Eastern cuisine always peps up recipes. Once the fruit is opened the seeds can be used in salads or as snacks. Which leads me to this recipe found in Morrison's magazine and adapted.

It originally uses 2 butternut squashes which is quite a lot, one only was plenty for 2 people but I kept all the other ingredients the same so it's packed with flavours. You might be left with extra stuffing, note that it's delicious on its own, warm it up the next day, that's lunch taken care of. 
 
Chestnuts 'n Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved (see last paragraph of the post)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g ready-prepared vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 125g quinoa
  • 2 tbsp shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 75g pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh coriander leaves

  •  
    Method
    1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and score the flesh. Place cut side up on a baking tray, drizzle with half the oil and season. Cook for 40-45 minutes.
    2. Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until softened. Stir in the garlic and chestnuts, cook for a minute then add the sage, cumin, cinnamon and cranberry sauce and cook for another 30 seconds.
    3. Put the quinoa into a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and stir into the onion mix with the nuts and all but 1 tbsp of the seeds.
    4. Once the squash are done, scoop out the flesh leaving just the shell. Chop the flesh and add to the quinoa mixture, then spoon back into the shells and bake for 10 minutes. To serve, scatter with the remaining seeds and coriander.
    As this recipe is really popular with Pebble Soup's readers, I am sharing it with my favourite bloggers' challenge
    This month the theme is challenge is Temple Food… as in my body is a temple. I think this recipe will fit right in.

    3 comments:

    Phil in the Kitchen said...

    I do like using chestnuts (and not just at Christmas) but I use them mostly in sweet dishes. On the other hand, I eat so much butternut squash that I might turn orange, so this sounds exactly like my kind of dish. I have been known to think about quinoa and Gwyneth Paltrow in the past, but never at the same time.

    bangers-and-mash.com said...

    This is packed full of my favourite ingredients - I've got to try it and soon! A perfect Temple Food entry for this month's #TheSpiceTrail challenge. Thanks for linking up :)

    Lynn said...

    I love quinoa and use it in a lot of recipes and this looks great, will have to try it. I won't be adding pomegranate though.

    si

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