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Author Notes: For a kid-friendly version, eliminate the saffron, cumin, and coriander. Also, a common substitute for the uncommon ingredient of pomegranate molasses is pomegranate juice. If you can't find either, it can be left out. A great substitute in the summer would be substituting uncooked apricots for the butternut squash. —Bibby Gignilliat
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Prepare Quinoa: Rinse quinoa under running water for 2 minutes. (This step is very important or else it will taste bitter). Bring quinoa, stock, spices, saffron, cinnamon, salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, turn down the heat. Cover and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the liquid is fully absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the pomegranate molasses.
- Sauté Vegetables: Heat the oil in a very large sauté pan. Add the squash, onions and carrots, and salt. Cook until all vegetables are soft but not soggy, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly and mix in with the quinoa.
- Serve: Just before serving, stir in the scallions and cilantro. Serve at warm or at room temperature.