I enjoyed my first-ever turkey-less Thanksgiving yesterday. *gasp!* I know you're curious about the menu. What took place of the roasted turkey? Lemon Pepper Wild Salmon! With two sides: Creamy Parsnip Mushroom Soup and Roasted Butternut Squash Cranberry Quinoa. For dessert I made a Pumpkin Pecan Pie.

Roasted Butternut Squash Cranberry Quinoa Recipe
Serves 4

The combination of butternut squash and cranberries with the quinoa was a party in my mouth -- love the light sweetness and savory flavors.

1 medium butternut squash, cut lengthwise
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cups vegetable broth and/or water
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice butternut squash in half, coat with olive oil and flip down on baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until squash is soft.

Cook quinoa in pot with vegetable broth over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Add olive oil to a pan. Saute the onion and celery until soft. Add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Mix sauteed veggies, cranberries and lemon juice with cooked quinoa.

When squash is roasted, discard the peel and chop into cubes. Sprinkle squash with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss squash gently with quinoa mixture. Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Parsnip Mushroom Soup
Serves 4

Inspired by a soup I recently enjoyed at Mellow Mushroom, I created a Swiss Cheese creamy sauce mixed with sauteed mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic. The creaminess really through with the added pureed roasted parsnips.

4 parsnips, roasted and pureed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 boxes of portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup organic cream
1 cup organic milk
1 cup swiss and cheddar cheese, grated
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and toss the parsnips in 1 tbsp olive oil, roast for about 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add chopped parsnips to a food processor with a little broth. Blend until smooth, set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add mushrooms, celery and onion, sautee until soft, then add garlic. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.

Melt butter in a pan. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix together. Add cream and milk, then slowly add cheese and blend together until melted. Pour cheese sauce into veggie soup and mix together. Add pureed parsnips and mix together. Heat soup through, then serve.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

This was my first attempt at pie and I was craving a combination of pumpkin and pecan -- my two favorites, so I made something like this Classic Pumpkin Pecan Pie. It was delicious, but the pie completely fell apart into a pumpkin pecan crumble. A flavorful fail.


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