Red Quinoa & Kale Stuffed Butternut Squash

RED-QUINOA & KALE STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

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Ingredients:

Butternut squash, scooped out, then roughly chop the scooped out squash
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Coriander
1/2 Cup Red Quinoa
1/2 Onion, small diced
1/2 bunch kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons Currants
2 Tablespoons Almonds
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
Gruyere Cheese for shaving

Directions:

1. Prep & roast the butternut squash halves:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on medium-high heat. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut or scoop out as much of the butternut squash as possible for the filling. (This can be tough, so if you get frustrated, just try to scoop out enough so you can partly fill the squash.) Drizzle the insides of be squash with a little olive oil and half of both the cumin and coriander and rub in the spices. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly browned and tender when pierced with a knife.

2. Cook the quinoa:
Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

3. Start the filling:
While the squash is roasting and the quinoa is cooking, in a large pan, heat a little olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and chopped butternut squash. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the remaining cumin & coriander and toast the spices for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until throughly combined, stirring frequently.

4. Finish the filling:
Add the kale, currants and vegetable broth. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the kale is wilted, the currants are plump and most of the vegetable broth has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the drained quinoa, almonds and half of the Parmesan cheese. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

5. Bake the stuffed squashes:
When cool enough to handle, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese inside the baked squash halves and fill each halve with as much filling as possible. Line the sheet pan with any remaining stuffing. Then, using a vegetable peeler, create shavings of Gryuere cheese and lay on top of the filling. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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Heirloom Tomato Salad

When tomatoes are in season, you really don’t need to do much to them to enjoy them. I love making this super simple heirloom salad as an easy appetizer, side dish or anytime snack. It’s important to wedge the tomatoes so each bite has a mix of seeds and jelly which actually contain the most flavor (as opposed to the flesh). 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

3-5 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 serrano chile, thinly sliced with seeds removed
1 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 5-10 minutes (or more) to let flavors combine.

Vegetarian Farro and Corn Salad

The best part about this recipe is that you don’t really need a recipe. Just toss together however much (or little) of each ingredient you’d like and eat. To save time on the week days, prepare the farro ahead of time and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to build the salad with whatever else you’ve got—like corn, avocado, asparagus, etc.

Vegetarian Farro Salad

Vegetarian Farro Salad

Ingredients

2 cups farro
1 1/2 cups corn, raw or cooked
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced then quartered
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup pea shoots, torn in half or chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2-3 tablespoons honey balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Cook farro as directed and drain. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, toss whatever ingredients you’d like such as corn, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, pea shoots and feta cheese in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together vinaigrette. (Typically for a vinaigrette, you’ll want one part vinegar/acid to two parts oil. For this specific recipe, I used honey balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but you could also use lemon juice or sherry, apple cider or rice wine vinegar. To kick up the flavor a little more, you can also mix in a small amount of dijon mustard or soy sauce, depending on whatever type of flavor-profile you’re going for.)
  4. Combine all ingredients in large bowl, toss until well coated and season with salt and pepper. Finito!

Tip: I like to let the farro cool a little bit so that it doesn’t wilt the greens too much. However, don’t let it cool too much! Tossing the farro with the vinaigrette when it’s slightly warm allows the farro to absorb more of the vinaigrette.

Tip: Serve this salad on its own or over a bed of greens such as arugula, spinach or escarole.

Tip: Wanna keep it meatless, but still want more protein? Add a soft-poached or hard boil egg.