The brussel sprouts we received this week and the butternut squash sitting on my counter from last week inspired today’s easy weeknight recipe: a vegetarian combo of cool-season veggies and quinoa, with dried cherries and pumpkin seeds for brightness and crunch. This meal cooks up within 35 minutes and the separate elements can even be made ahead, leaving you with about 5-10 minutes of cook time when you’re ready for it.
Quinoa offers your body a complex protein, keeping you satisfied. The squash has a huge quantity of vitamin A, and half of your day’s vitamin C, too, while brussel sprouts have more than your fair share of that vitamin C. Cruciferous veggies like brussel sprouts are thought to be a cancer-preventative food: the glucosinolate sprouts has protects DNA.
The cancer protection we get from Brussels sprouts is largely related to four specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, and gluconasturtiian. Research has shown that Brussels sprouts offer these cancer-preventive components in special combination.
And of course, cherries and pumpkin seeds pack super-food punch. Overall, this meal does a body (and your taste buds) good!
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Preheat oven to 350. Slice sprouts in half. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and arrange cut-side-down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, start cooking your quinoa according to package directions.
As the quinoa and sprouts cook, deal with the squash. For thinner-skinned varieties, like butternut : Set a medium pot of salted water to boil. Peel and cut into bite-sized cubes (same size as your brussel sprout halves). Blanch for 2-3 minutes or until a fork just pierces the flesh. drain and set aside.
For thicker-skinned varieties like acorn: cut in half, scoop out seeds, brush with oil, and roast until tender. Cut cubes out as best you can or use a melon baller. Set aside.
When all three elements are done, heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add squash and cook, tossing often, until sides are nicely browned. Add quinoa, sprouts, and seasonings, and perhaps a little more salt and pepper to taste, and cook until everything is evenly heated and starting to crisp up. Remove from heat and top with cherries and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.
Make-ahead: The sprouts, squash, and quinoa can be made ahead and stored in the fridge, separately, for up to 2 days. Your time from fridge to table would be cut down to 5-10 minutes.
This recipe improves with age, if you're fortunate enough to have leftovers!