Today's This Week's Cravings theme is Thanksgiving Dinner and Desserts and I'm sharing a side dish that can also hold its own as a vegan and vegetarian main dish: Butternut Squash Quinoa Stuffing. I had a beautiful butternut squash in my most recent CSA box and craisins leftover from these fantastic Cranberry-Orange Scones, so I decided to craft a stuffing recipe that's healthy AND delicious. I've filled my naturally vegan and gluten-free stuffing with butternut squash, cranberries and walnuts.
Since I'm allergic to celery and don't eat meat, stuffing's not something I often get to try. But, to be honest, even when I do try it, the soaked and baked bread cubes just aren't my thing. I crafted my stuffing with quinoa instead. If you've never used, or even heard of quinoa, don't despair...it's really simple to cook (a lot like rice or cous cous) and, with a mild nutty taste, primarily takes on the flavor of what you cook with it. It's biggest bonus, especially for vegetarians and vegans, is that it's a complete protein. So, it can really stand as its own complete meal when fruits and veggies are mixed in. Unlike rice, you absolutely CANNOT skip the rinsing step for quinoa. I'll admit it, I skip that step A LOT with rice. But quinoa has a natural bitter coating that acts as a pest deterrent, so you must rinse this off prior to cooking or it will taste bitter.
My This Week's Cravings co-hostesses are: Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking, Kristen at From My Tiny Kitchen, Angie at Big Bear's Wife and Nicole at The Daily Dish. As hostesses, we will try our hardest to visit as many of the links we can. We all enjoy your links and look forward to gathering recipes each week.
The party has a few SIMPLE RULES and all of the themes for the entire year are list here on the THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS tab at Moms Crazy Cooking. Plan ahead, check out the weeks you want to make sure to link up or just browse them to see what's going on.
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon House seasoning (or kosher salt and black pepper)
- 2 cups quinoa, raw
- 2 cups Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (I used a mix of both)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, crushed (optional)
Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Add quinoa to saucepan, bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes, until quinoa sprouts are showing and most of the liquid is absorbed.
In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Italian seasoning. When squash and onions are ready, reduce oven heat to 350 and cut squash from skin in rough cubes. Add onions, squash and balsamic mix to quinoa. Mix chopped nuts and dried cranberries and fold into quinoa. Pour into a sprayed 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with crushed nuts, if desired.
- November 28 - French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles & More
- December 5 - Christmas Baking: Sweets, Treats, Candy & Gift Ideas·
- December 12 - Macaroni and Cheese
- December 19 - Christmas Dinners & Holiday Food Traditions
If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!