Sausage, sage, butternut squash…….I know what you are thinking. This must be the start of a great Thanksgiving Day stuffing recipe. While it does cause me to be a bit reminiscent of those glorious food days of the Fall, this dish brings those flavors to life in the dead of summer with this quinoa pilaf.
Crash and recover is sort of a consistent theme with me this summer and right now I happen to be on the first day of recovery after a rather lengthy crash in my diet. I say “diet” in the sense of my daily food diet, not my “next fad diet”. I know what it takes to keep my body and mind healthy and clearly processed foods and chocolate don’t make the cut. What works best for me is to rely heavily on fresh foods, whole seeds and grains, not many sweets except for the natural sugar ones and very lean meats. Exercise is essential for me not only for my “physical fitness” as our sweet neighbor Dorris is so big on, but also for a therapeutic escape for my mental fitness. Although summertime makes it really easy to fall off the proverbial “food wagon” with longer days, evenings on the porch with friends and wine, and just the general laid backness of sunny days. However; summertime is also a very easy time to turn those overindulgences around and get back on track with a healthy lifestyle because you can be more active outdoors and the fresh ingredients are at every corner and so easy to access. Quinoa pilaf is definitely a favorite go-to for me in the summer and really any time of year because you can easily change it up by using different ingredients. I toss it with some fresh pesto and tomatoes, add a little chicken and feta cheese, or roast some asparagus and shrimp for a quick and easy and light and healthy (but filling) meal. I have also found that it is really good hot or cold……and my boys like it, too, so it is truly a no brainer in our house.
Now that I have my girls’ beach trip on the very near horizon, that wagon is a little less difficult to climb back on and I will definitely be eating plenty o’ pilaf for the next few weeks. And while I am detoxing from all the junk, I definitely find comfort in this pilaf especially for it’s Thanksgiving flair.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, cubed & roasted
- 2 links Turkey Italian Sausage, cooked & sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- crumbled goat cheese or reduced fat Feta cheese, optional
- In a saucepan over high heat, add chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place peeled, cubed squash on a roasting pan and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast until tender about 35 minutes.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, butternut squash, sliced sausage, sage, onion salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm and garnish with cheese.
If you like this quinoa pilaf, you might like to try these recipes, too:
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