First off, real quick: thank you to everyone who has been stopping by my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) before doing their Christmas shopping! It’s a free and easy way to support my desktop ministry, and it truly makes a big difference! So THANK YOU!
ONTO THE BLOG!
‘Twas the week of Thanksgiving and all ‘round the blogs,
The masses were hunting for pie and eggnog.
The posts were all hung on the pages with care
In hopes that their readers would enjoy them with flair!
The foodies were ready with pencils and pad
To jot down some recipes they were craving “real bad.”
When what to their wondering eyes did they find?
But a turkey-free main, of the Gluten Free kind!
With an ingredient list so wholesome and free,
They knew in a moment, “this dish is for me!”
Haha, I hope you liked that fun little rhyme a whipped up. Just call me Poet BBB. 😉
OK, ok, ok, I know…you’re sitting there thinking…just tell me what this deliciousness is that’s taunting my eyeballs right now!!
Haha, I hear you, friend. I hear you.
Allow me to introduce my beloved, and most requested recipe: Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Boats.
A slow roasted butternut squash, stuffed with a pear, quinoa pilaf.
Now, allow me to pause: If this photo looks dated, that’s because it is. Sadly, this recipe is not on the Specific Carb Diet (because it includes quinoa), so I can no longer enjoy it. BUT, back in 2010, during those 11 months on bed rest during my Ulcerative Colitis flare, I was experimenting with lots of different therapeutic diets, in order to find a solution that worked. So this recipe was born during that time before I adopted the SCD. And let me tell you, I still dream about this dish.
It is Gluten Free, Vegan, and Paleo. And believe me when I say — OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Not only is it visually stunning, but the taste is truly so unique and addicting, you’ll be pinning and bookmarking this post to return to again and again and again. I promise.
Here’s What You’ll Need: (Serves 2)
1 butternut squash, halved and roasted
1 cup quinoa, cooked in 2 cups of vegetable stock
2 pears, diced
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 big handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard
juice of 1 BIG lemon (You may need to use 1 1/2 or 2 small ones)
3 green onions, sliced
2 drops of agave
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a little water to stretch the sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spritz with olive oil. (Or simply use non-stick tinfoil.) Carefully cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. (Do this by cutting off the top and tail of the squash. This way, you have a solid, flat base to stand it up on. Then, carefully cut it lengthwise. A sharp, chef’s knife is imperative for doing this. There’s nothing more dangerous in the kitchen than a dull knife. It is really worth the investment.)
After you cut it in half, rub the flesh with 1 tsp EVOO mixed with 2 drops of agave. Then, place it flesh side up on a baking sheet, and roast it in a 400 degree oven for about an hour – until fork tender. Nice and slow.
Next, once you’re about thirty minutes into the roasting process, put the quinoa on the stove and cook it according to the package directions, using veg stock. (Be sure to use a tight-fitting lid!)
While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing ingredients and set aside.
After the quinoa is finished cooking, and has absorbed all the liquid, but before you fluff it with a fork, take it off the heat, and add your spinach, and immediately cover the pot for about 3 minutes, so that the spinach wilts. Then, add the dress and fluff/stir it in with a fork.
Next, add the pears, almonds, and raisins and fluff/stir those in as well.
Finally, cover with the lid for a few minutes, to allow the raisins to plump from the steam. Add salt to taste. (I added about 1 tsp.)
Once the butternut squash is finished roasting, fill the cavity with the quinoa goodness. If you just can’t get enough of the quinoa, you can cover the entire squash with it, like I did!
This meal was sensational! We already know that quinoa is a protein-packed superfood, but it is also SO versatile, and tasty! The flavor of this dish was wonderful – There was an inherent sweetness from the butternut squash, a bright sweetness from the pears, and an intense pop of sweetness from the raisins, with a spicy depth from the cinnamon and allspice. BUT! It was not at all overbearing because of the slight undertone of tang from the dijon mustard and lemon juice! The flavor was just so enjoyable.
The other great thing was the mix of textures! The pears were crunchy, the raisins were chewy, the almonds had a nice bite to them, and the quinoa kind of *pops* in your mouth! It was like a party in your mouth! Complimented, of course, by the luxuriously creamy butternut squash.
This is such a perfect dish for Thanksgiving, because not only is it incredibly delicious, but the presentation is dramatic and stunning. You place this down at your seat, and people’s eyes get really wide, and say, “Wowwww, what is that?”
So ProTip: make some extra because everyone will be begging for a bite or two!
A veggie turkey!
Talk about pizzaz! This handsome fella is sure to bring smiles to even the staunchest of meat eaters!
I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving meals I’ve made throughout the years. So below, you’ll find links to all my Turkey Day staples!
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