Quinoa Pasta, Baby Broccoli and Butternut Squash Dinner
I don’t know if it’s because I’m born in the autumn, but I love squash – pumpkins, butternut, acorn – you name it, I’m loving it. Making dinner last night I realized that I even slightly fetishize squash. I found myself obsessing over photographing my beige little friend in the most flattering light.
Violet was helping me cook and she was pretty bored with my pontifications over the pros and cons of flash vs. natural light, but I’ll tell you – when I cut that baby open (the squash, not Violet) she was IN!
She fished out the seeds with her hands and started eating it raw!
Impressive. Meanwhile I prepared the rest of the squash in my usual low-maintenance manner, with butter and maple-agave syrup. Because we live in California, the maple-agave combo is way cheaper than full-on maple. I know it’s sacrilegious as a Canadian to dilute maple syrup, but it’s really fucking good and half the price.
Anyway, back to the recipe!
Roasted Butternut Squash With Maple Syrup
Peel and cut one butternut squash into large pieces and place in a glass dish
Dapple with butter generously
Drizzle maple syrup
Cook for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your preference for more raw or more candied) at 375 degrees.
I combined this succulent side with some steamed organic baby broccoli and quinoa pasta. And before you say, “Hey! where’s the protein in this meal?” let me point out that quinoa provides 16.2 % protein, more than any other grain! Also the almond milk / goat cheese sauce helps.
Boil water with a pinch of salt – throw pasta in – do people really need instructions for elbow noodles? Although I should mention that you don’t want to overcook quinoa pasta or it starts disintegrating. This happens less if you buy the quinoa / corn combo pasta.
Whole Wheat Almond Milk Goat Cheese Pasta Sauce
Three tablespoons whole wheat flour
Two tablespoons butter
Hard goat cheese
Create a roux with almond milk and whole wheat flour! It’s just as decadent as regular cream sauce, but it has a nutty flavor to it.
Heat the flour in a saucepan for a minute, then melt the butter in, adding milk slowly until it reaches a light creamy consistency. Then grate in the hard goat cheese about two tablespoons at a time letting it melt thoroughly each time.
Here’s the easy dinner completed! I’m not portionally challenged – the smaller one was for Violet. She ate her broccoli (yay!) and squash, and also powered down the macaroni like it was out of an orange box! I count that as a personal victory.
I don’t know why this picture looks like someone snapped it in 1973, but I can tell you that this meal was delicious and kid-friendly!