Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quinoa & Roasted Butternut Squash Hot Dish!

The Minnesota in me can't whip up a side dish, containing condensed 
cream of soup, without calling it a hot dish.  Sorry.  Not sorry. 

I made this dish in December for a luncheon potluck at my daughter's school, with items I had in the kitchen. I didn't know how it would turn out, but after several moms asked me for the recipe at the luncheon, and another mom just stopped me last week to ask, I decided it was time to get this recipe on the blog. 

What you need:
  • 3 cups dry quinoa (which cooked in 6 cups of liquid, water or stock, will yield ~8 cups of cooked quinoa)
  • 8 ounce block of cream cheese, room temperature soft
  • 2 boxes of condensed cream of mushroom soup 
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt & black pepper
Also, I highly recommend you make the Maple Spiced Pecans, also on this blog, as they are the perfect addition of sweet and spicy crunch to this hot dish.  

 Get all that tough skin off the squash quickly, with a vegetable peeler.
I seriously just thought of this in the last 6 months after many a squash 
struggles.  Major 'duh moment'!!

 I cut the 'neck' of the squash off, then bisect the bottom of the squash
for easy removal of the the seeds and pulp.

 Slice the 'neck' of the squash into roughly 1/2 inch slices. Then
cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes.

 Cube the bottom half of the cleaned out squash.

Place the cubed squash on a foil lined baking sheet, topped with 
parchment paper (the foil is only for easy clean up, not needed
if you are a bit more motivated than I am).  Toss the cubes with a 
generous amount of olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

I forgot about the onion, but remembered to toss it in, right before the
pan made it's way to the oven.

Place in a 400 degree oven.  Roast for 1 hour, tossing with a spoon
after half hour.

While the squash is roasting, and the quiona is cooking (just follow directions 
on the dry quinoa package), combine the 8 oz block of cream cheese, 2 boxes 
condensed soup and 2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable) in a large bowl with a whisk.

This is my favorite brand of condensed soups.  It is also gluten free,
which is wonderful for those with dietary restrictions.

 Add the cooked quinoa to the sauce and stir.  Add sea salt to taste.

Fold in the roasted squash and onions.  

Place in an oiled baking dish.  At this point you can cover the dish and
 place in the refrigerator to bake off later.

For the perfect crust, use the vegetable peel to shave off a bit of butter
and place on top.  This too is one of my favorite little ideas/ 'duh moments'

Sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the shaved butter, and place in a
375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

The top will be golden brown.

Yum!  This hot dish is meal enough, when topped with the
 Maple Spiced Pecans and served with a side of greens. 

Here are a couple other ideas for this delicious hot dish: toss in additional roasted vegetables 
(zucchini, asparagus, root vegetables, portobello mushrooms), stuff large portobello mushrooms
and bake off or serve along side grilled poultry or beef.

Seriously, yum! 

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