Butternut Squash Cranberry Quinoa Protein Boats

IMG_1360

This hearty fall dish boasts an antioxidant punch, helps to reduce inflammation and is loaded with plant based protein.

2 medium butternut squash, about 2 1/2 pounds each

3 tbs avocado oil, divided

2 cups quinoa with dried vegetables (or plain quinoa if preferred)

4 cups water mixed with 2 tbs no chicken chicken bouillon

1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 6 lightly packed cups)

cinnamon for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt (plus additional for roasting squash)

2 teaspoon black pepper divided

2 tsp garlic salt divided

4 tsp ground cumin divided in half

4 tsp ground ginger divided in half

2 tsp ground basil leaves divided

1 (15 ounce) can low sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Zest of 1 orange, plus the juice of 1 fresh orange

1 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Split butternut squash down the middle and clean out the seeds. Place on baking sheets and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon and drizzle with 1 tbs avocado oil.  Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

In a sauce pan, combine water, bullion and quinoa and simmer on medium low heat until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

While the squash is roasting and the quinoa is simmering, wash and slice the kale.  De-stem the kale for best texture and flavor.

In a large skillet heat 1 tbs of avocado oil over medium heat.  Add the kale, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic salt, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ginger and 1 tsp basil and cook until wilted, then remove the kale and put aside in a large bowl.

Using the same skillet, add 1 tbs of avocado oil, onions, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic salt, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp ginger and 1 tsp basil.  Cook until slightly translucent. Stir in the garbanzo beans. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently.  Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the kale.

Add the dried cranberries and quinoa to the large bowl of kale, onions and garbanzo beans, stirring until mixed thoroughly.  Add the orange juice and orange zest, stir until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

Once the squash is cooked and cooled, scoop out the meat leaving a 1/2 inch thick border around the sides and a 3/4 inch border along the bottom.  Reserve the flesh for another use or mash it to serve on the side or if you don’t mind super stuffed squash, at it to the rest of the filling.  Fill the squash halves with the filling and then return to the oven.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until hot.  Serve warm.

Leave a Reply