Indy Power: Easy autumn quinoa bake
This warming dish is perfect for a chilly autumn evening - just be sure to make enough for leftovers the next day.
Autumn quinoa bake
This is such a cosy, autumn dinner. It's made for people who love leftovers, it's divine reheated. You can use cooked quinoa to make it if you have some already, just pop the squash in to boil with the cauliflower instead. Don't skimp on the pecans or sage.
Serves 6. Gluten-free
350g butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large handful fresh sage, finely chopped
60ml unsweetened almond milk
2 handfuls pecans
80g goats' cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Boil the cauliflower for about 9 minutes until tender. Pour it in a colander and leave it there to drain.
Peel and chop the squash into cubes. Add the quinoa, squash and stock to a medium saucepan on medium heat. Pop the lid on and leave it to simmer for about 13-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.
Add the olive oil to a pan on medium heat and add in the onion, garlic and sage. Cook for a few minutes, tossing regularly, until the onion is soft.
Add the cauliflower, almond milk and onion mixture to your food processor with a good pinch of coarse salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Remove the stalks from the kale and chop it into shreds. Add it to a large bowl with the quinoa, squash and the creamy cauliflower mixture and mix until combined. Spread the mixture out into your dish. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and goats' cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until starting to crisp on top.
Sage is one of my favourite herbs. Frustratingly, you can’t always rely on it being in supermarkets like other herbs so it’s one of the few I keep growing in my kitchen. I can never keep it alive (tips welcome!) so I have to replace it often but it’s so worth it. Rosmarinic acid, which is present in sage and rosemary, is a strong anti-inflammatory (if you have an inflammatory condition like arthritis or asthma, eat up!) and it’s a powerful antioxidant too. I love crisping it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic for sprinkling on soup and the balsamic and sage roast chicken in my new book is a favourite in my house.
Anyone for squash?
I absolutely love winter squash, and butternut squash is great because it’s so readily available. It’s best this time of year but it stores really well so it’s usually available most of the year — it will stay fresh in a cool, dry place for up to three months. It’s a really good source of fibre and is great for lowering blood pressure due to its high potassium content. It’s also full of vitamin C which is handy as we come in to flu season and it’s loaded with manganese, which aids calcium absorption and helps to keep bones strong.