Lemon Quinoa with Butternut Squash
This flavorful dish is delicious, healthy, and sure to become a holiday favorite!
Quinoa and butternut squash are both great sources of dietary fiber, which can improve digestive health. On average, one cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of dietary fiber and butternut squash provides 2.8 grams of dietary fiber per cup. Fiber is crucial to promoting probiotic health. A fiber-rich diet can help feed your gut microbiome.
Did You Know
Fiber is crucial to promoting probiotic health. A fiber-rich diet can help feed probiotics. But how does fiber help probiotic health?
There are four key benefits that come from eating a diet rich in fiber.
- Fiber slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. When you eat foods high in fiber, such as beans and whole grains, the sugar in those foods is absorbed slower, which keeps your blood glucose levels from spiking which can lead to overeating.
- Fiber makes your intestines work faster. When you eat whole grains rich in insoluble fiber, it moves faster through your intestines, which can tell your body that you are full.
- Fiber cleans your colon. Fiber helps clean out bacteria and other buildup in your intestines, and reduces your risk for colon cancer.
- Fiber helps keep you regular. Fiber adds bulk to stool making it softer and easier to pass.
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel
- 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground pepper-to taste
- 2 tbsp. lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)
- 1 tsp chives, minced (optional)
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and strings. Peel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with the 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it well and allow to drain.
- Add the shallots and garlic to a deep, non-stick pot and cook, stirring, until shallots soften slightly. Add the quinoa and toast it until it has dried out and begins to exude a toasty aroma. Add the squash along with the thyme and vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, until all broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice if needed.
- Serve with toasted pine nuts, pomegranate, and chives sprinkled on top.
(Recipe adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)