Jul 3, 2011

Butternut Squash Quinoa with Seared Salmon

Quinoa is a great alternative to rice, pasta, bread, and grains. It’s heartier and more nutritious than your average starch. Here I’ve paired it with salmon to create a healthy and flavourful dish that can be enjoyed as a substantial lunch or on a hot summer evening.
Ingredients1 Cup of washed Quinoa
2 Cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 Cups of butternut squash peeled and cubed
½ Cup of white onion finely diced
1 tbsp Whole grain mustard
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Chipotle peppers in Adobo (if chipotle peppers are unavailable substitute chipotle flavored Tobasco)
½ Cup of additional vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
MethodThe first step is to make the Quinoa. This is pretty easy, and actually cooks quicker and easier than rice! Add the washed Quinoa to a medium sauce pan, add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes or until Quinoa is cooked through. You will know it’s completely cooked when the germ separates from the seed. Remove from heat and fluff, then set aside.
Now it’s time to make the Butternut Squash sautée which will be folded into the Quinoa later. In a medium non-stick sautée pan heat the olive oil at a medium high temperature. Add the onions and sweat down until softened.
Next add the butternut squash and salt and sautée for 5-6 minutes, then add the mustard, chipotle peppers, honey, and stir for 2-3 minutes.
Add the stock, turn the heat up to high, bring to a boil, cover reduce heat and simmer for another 8-10 minutes or until the squash is soft and cooked through. The sauce should reduce, but you want enough to mix into the Quinoa.
Remove from heat and mix the Quinoa into the butternut squash mixture. Set aside.
For the salmon fillets, you want to keep it simple because there is so much flavour in the Qinuoa, you don’t want to overwhelm the dish.
Heat a large non-stick pan over high heat with olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Do not move fillets. Allow to cook for about 7 mins or until well browned. Turn fillets and cook about 3 mins more, or until barely pink in the centre. Serve immediately, with the skin side up with the Quinoa. ENJOY!

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