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A new year brings fresh opportunities to try different recipes, eat healthier food and enjoy the company of friends. If you have some butternut squash left over from holiday celebrations, you can make this tasty and healthy pilaf recipe adapted from Diabetic Living Magazine.
Butternut squash, a key element of many holiday meals, should be enjoyed all winter long. It's rich in fiber but low in fat, making it incredibly heart healthy. This winter squash also provides plenty of potassium, vitamin B6, and folate. Perhaps its most notable health benefit, though, is its carotenoids - beta carotene in particular. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A automatically in the body, offering protection against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, according to Whole Living Magazine.
Whether you're having a dinner party or just looking to warm up on a chilly January night, this recipe for Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf might be perfect.
Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine squash, garlic and crushed red pepper in a large bowl, then drizzle with two teaspoons of olive oil and stir until the squash is evenly coated. Spoon this mixture into a large (15x10x1) baking pan. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, stirring once, and adding the sliced almonds at the end.
In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa, remaining three tablespoons of olive oil, sage and salt. Stir in the roasted squash and garnish with sage leaves before serving.