Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essentail amino acids. The other plus is that it tastes great and is a healthy alternative to rice! Give this recipe a try, it is Black and White Quinoa Dressing with Butternut Squash and Pecans!
1 cup regular (golden) quinoa
3/4 cup black quinoa
5 1/4 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound butternut squash, cut in small dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup lightly toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Keeping the quinoas separate, wash in several changes of water. In separate saucepans, combine the golden quinoa with 3 cups water or stock and the black quinoa with 2 1/4 cups water or stock. Add salt to taste, bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 to 25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the grains display a coiled thread. The black quinoa takes longer to cook, and the thread will not pop out of all of the grains. Drain through a strainer and return both quinoas together to one of the pots. Place a clean kitchen towel over the pot and return the lid. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet and sauté the squash, stirring often, until it is tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining oil and the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt and the celery and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, until the onion is completely tender and the celery is just tender, and add the garlic. Stir over medium heat until the garlic smells fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and transfer to the bowl with the squash. Add the quinoa and the remaining ingredients and stir together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oiled or buttered baking dish and cover with foil.
3. Warm for 20 to 30 minutes in a 325-degree oven before serving.