I do love this dish! It is tasty, healthy, gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.
I love the colour of it and squash is very versatile and any combination is a success
Squash has a nutty flavour contains vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants; quinoa is high in proteins not to mention vitamin E, B vitamins and iron just to mention a few.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:40 minutes (oven) +15 minutes (cooker)+30 minutes (oven)
1 big butternut squash or 2 small ones
1 big onion thinly slices
2 cloves garlic - crushed
1carrot cut into small pieces
1 red or yellow pepper cut into small pieces
8-10 chestnut mushrooms cut into thin slices
1 courgette cut into small pieces
1handfuls frozen peas
1/2 handful pitted olives
1tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp tomato puree
Grated cheese (any hard cheese of your choice)
Mixed herbs finely chopped (parsley, thyme, sage, origano)
1 tsp turmeric
Pre heat the oven to 180 degreeC.
Cut the squash in half, put some baking paper on top of a baking try and the squash on top and cook for 40 minutes minutes (until you can insert a fork in the squash flesh) .
Once ready, let it cool for a little while then spoon out the flesh, cut it into small pieces and set aside. Leave the outer shells on the baking tray.
Cook the quinoa into a pan in salted boiling water then drain it and leave it in the pan with a lid on for at least ten minutes.
On a low heat, put a medium size pan and fry the onion with some oil until it softens. Add the garlic and all the other veggies, stirr then add the tomato puree, ginger, turmeric, the herbs, sesame seeds and cook for 5 minutes. Add the olives and the squash (as it will not be completely cooked from the oven) and keep cooking for another 5/10 minutes until all the veggies are soft. Add some water if necessary; the veggies should not be dry but equally not to soaked.
When ready, first fluff the quinoa with a fork and then add it to the veggies and mix.
Mix all together thoughroughly and fill the squash halves with the stuffing then grated some cheese on top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Return the squash to the oven for about 30 minutes.