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With the October sun setting painfully earlier than it used to and only a thirty minute window to make dinner and snap a few photos before dark, I was on mission. Abby listed off some ingredients she had been craving…pregnantly craving: apples, squash and mushrooms. I figured she had been planning a little, since we had all three in our house.

I decided to test my ability to make this a one pot meal. I started cooking the hard squash first and added the remaining ingredients in a particular order so as not to turn it all to mush. The mushrooms released some liquid as they cooked which helped the squash continue to cook. The apples and ginger remained bright when they were added at the end. I chopped and tossed them straight into the pot one after another and actually was finished cooking everything else before the quinoa was done.

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I was pretty proud of myself. Abby could have cared less, except for the fact that we had dinner in under twenty minutes of walking in the door! This is a fun chop-and-stir as you go recipe that is ready at your own speed. If you are not the fastest chopper, cook the dish over medium heat to allow the vegetables not to over cook as you go. I was just trying to show off for my wife with my iron chef speed performance.

Mushroom and Apple Quinoa
{gluten-free, vegan}

1 small delicata squash, diced and deseeded (peel left on)
4 cups crimini (or other wild mushrooms) halved or quartered if large
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 small nob of ginger
zest of one lemon
2 ounces of white wine
25 grinds of black pepper
salt for seasoning the dish
olive oil
a few scallions for garnish and little raw bite
2 cups of cooked quinoa

Over medium-high heat, saute the diced squash in a few tablespoons of olive oil while you chop the mushrooms. Toss the mushrooms into the pot, add a few pinches of salt and stir. While the mushrooms and squash continue to cook, slice the onion and add to the pot with the garlic. Stir occasionally while you are peeling and chopping the apples. Toss the apples in and stir. Grate the ginger and lemon zest right into the pot. Finally, add the wine and cook for one more minute. Turn off the heat. Add a bit more salt if necessary and finish with the fresh pepper.

Serve over warm quinoa or mix the quinoa in with the squash, mushroom and apple mixture.

This is the way fall is meant to be enjoyed!

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