Recipes: Quinoa Butternut Pilaf with La Mesa Blog

_MG_9212One of the greatest parts of food blogging is being able to connect with incredible artisans, makers and culinary creators from around the world.  And if there’s one thing I’ve seen in this community – there are some seriously talented women out there shaping the way we eat, think, and feel about food!  This year, I decided to launch a new series on the Vidya blog to highlight some of the kitchen goddesses out there who inspire me each day with their ingenuity of ingredients and artful presentation of nourishing cuisine.  This monthly “Seasonal Recipe Share” series will give us a peek inside each bloggers home recipe box and the many ways they each connect with their health through seasonal eating and living.

This month, I’m excited to introduce to you my dear friend – a local friend! – Megan Markey of La Mesa Blog. You’ve already seen some of Megan’s work around my site (she took my bio photos + meditation shots!), but I’m thrilled to share her culinary genius in the Seasonal Recipe Share series. Not only is she an incredible photographer here in OKC, she also is a devoted mama to three of the most beautiful kids you’ve ever seen. Between raising her babes, photographing families, and creating nourishing recipes, it’s safe to say Megan is one remarkable woman. Grateful to add her savory Butternut Squash & Quinoa Pilaf recipe to the collaborative recipe box this month! Welcome Megan….


_MG_8949 copyThanks, Claire, for inviting me into your beautiful corner of the internet!  Oh, how I love fall cooking. For me, it’s all about warmth and comfort.  The seasons impact my cooking in a huge way —while my summer dishes are typically very simple, with lots of raw ingredients, I transition to more warm, slow cooked food in the autumn.  Lots of soups and roasted veggies.  Squash may be my favorite of autumn’s bounty, and I especially love butternut.  _MG_9176My mom served it often when I was growing up, so it’s a definite comfort food for me.  She prepared it various ways, but my favorite is when she would just cube it, drizzle it with olive oil, and roast it.  It’s crispy on the outside, slightly sweet, and buttery in the middle. Perfection. For this dish, I’ve paired the roasted butternut with quinoa, fragrant sage, shallots, and some toasted pine nuts.  You can really use any grain you’d like (brown rice, farro, etc.)

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QUINOA & BUTTERNUT PILAF

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
1 medium butternut squash
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil
3-4 sage leaves, snipped
sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Begin by cooking quinoa according to directions (1 1/2 cups quinoa to 3 cups water).  Set aside.  Peel and cube butternut, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 375 for about 35-40 minutes or until tender, but slightly crispy on the outside.  In a small skillet with a little bit of olive oil, sauté the shallots, garlic, and sage until tender.  Remove from heat.  Once the butternut is cooked, combine all ingredients together, including the toasted pine nuts, and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt (add more salt if necessary), and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Garnish with more pine nuts and sage leaves.  Enjoy!

Makes 3-4 servings

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