Many of my favorite dishes are born out of random ingredients and guesswork. It typically starts with me needing to go to the grocery store and either not having the time, money, or inclination (or all of the above) to do so. That’s when I start raiding the fridge and grabbing whatever random assortment of ingredients I can find. This time around, the hodgepodge of ingredients included: 2-day-old pre-cooked quinoa, a zucchini (the last veggie in the drawer of my fridge), the last measly clump of sprouts at the bottom of the container, and a butternut squash that had been sitting, forgotten, on my kitchen shelf for weeks. With my ingredients splayed out on my counter, it looked like a real motley crew. But, it would have to do.
This time around, I decided to peel and slice my butternut squash into thin rounds and roast it with a little coconut oil, sea salt, and pepper. It’s basically impossible to screw up that tasty combo…
Then, I figured it would be best to make a yummy bowl with my random ingredients. I’ve realized at this point that it’s best to create bowls (like in the picture below) when you’re unsure about a dish; with everything separated, you’re safe if one or two of the ingredients don’t mesh well with the others and you can customize each bite the way you like it.
And of course, no bowl is complete though without a delicious sauce. The sauce for this bowl (like the rest of the dish) was extremely simple, but also insanely good. Most of the sauce made it into the bowl, but some may or may not have been spooned directly into my mouth. Just sayin’.
Full disclosure here, I had hoped this would be good, but I was really careful to take a very small first bite. Even that tiny first bite was enough for me to fall in love. I ate this twice over the weekend and then again last night after buying all of the ingredients to recreate the dish. At this point, I’ve eaten it with hot, freshly-cooked quinoa and squash and also with cold leftover ingredients straight from the fridge, and I have to say, it’s awesome both ways (which makes this lazy girl ridiculously happy). After eating it so many times and basically falling in love, it seemed unfair to keep a dish this simple and delicious to myself, so I just had to give it a name and share it on A & A!
- 1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced into thin rounds about ¼ – ½” thick
- 1 Tbs. melted coconut oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup quinoa, soaked overnight or throughout the day, rinsed, and drained
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into noodles (using a spiral slicer or julienne peeler)
- handful of sprouts (I used clover for this dish, but any will do)
- 2 Tbs. almond butter
- 1½ Tbs. Braggs liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
- 1 Tbs. sesame oil (or other mild oil)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- a handful of sunflower seeds or chopped almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Spread the squash rounds out on the tray and coat each round in coconut oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Flip the rounds over and coat the other side, too. Place the tray in the oven and cook, flipping halfway through, for approx. 40 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the quinoa: Bring the filtered water to a boil, add the quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to Low. Let the quinoa simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside with the lid on.
- Now, prepare the sauce: whisk together the almond butter, Braggs, oil, and garlic. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water to thin it out.
- When the squash is done cooking, add it to a couple of bowls along with the quinoa, zucchini, and sprouts. Drizzle with the sauce and top with sunflower seeds or chopped almonds.
- Serve and enjoy!
*I’ve submitted this recipe to Gluten Free Fridays