Today's This Week's Cravings theme is Thanksgiving Dinner and Desserts and I'm sharing a side dish that can also hold its own as a vegan and vegetarian main dish: Butternut Squash Quinoa Stuffing. I had a beautiful butternut squash in my most recent CSA box and craisins leftover from these fantastic Cranberry-Orange Scones, so I decided to craft a stuffing recipe that's healthy AND delicious. I've filled my naturally vegan and gluten-free stuffing with butternut squash, cranberries and walnuts.
Since I'm allergic to celery and don't eat meat, stuffing's not something I often get to try. But, to be honest, even when I do try it, the soaked and baked bread cubes just aren't my thing. I crafted my stuffing with quinoa instead. If you've never used, or even heard of quinoa, don't despair...it's really simple to cook (a lot like rice or cous cous) and, with a mild nutty taste, primarily takes on the flavor of what you cook with it. It's biggest bonus, especially for vegetarians and vegans, is that it's a complete protein. So, it can really stand as its own complete meal when fruits and veggies are mixed in. Unlike rice, you absolutely CANNOT skip the rinsing step for quinoa. I'll admit it, I skip that step A LOT with rice. But quinoa has a natural bitter coating that acts as a pest deterrent, so you must rinse this off prior to cooking or it will taste bitter.
My This Week's Cravings co-hostesses are: Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking, Kristen at From My Tiny Kitchen, Angie at Big Bear's Wife and Nicole at The Daily Dish. As hostesses, we will try our hardest to visit as many of the links we can. We all enjoy your links and look forward to gathering recipes each week.
The party has a few SIMPLE RULES and all of the themes for the entire year are list here on the THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS tab at Moms Crazy Cooking. Plan ahead, check out the weeks you want to make sure to link up or just browse them to see what's going on.
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon House seasoning (or kosher salt and black pepper)
- 2 cups quinoa, raw
- 2 cups Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (I used a mix of both)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, crushed (optional)