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Author Notes: I absolutely adore Dorie Greenspan's classic French recipe, Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good. It is incredibly comforting, but also quite rich, with lots of heavy cream and Gruyere. Thus began my mission to create a superfood-laden version of a dish I so adore. After weeks of tinkering, and with a hearty dose of inspiration from deensiebat's lovely One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf, I arrived here. Flavorful and healthy, this is pure comfort food with the added benefit of being (mostly) guilt-free.*
*If you'd like a slightly "guiltier" version, this can be jazzed up by candying your bacon. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay down your bacon, and sprinkle with a big pinch of brown sugar and a small pinch of cinnamon. Bake for about 25 minutes at 325. Conversely, vegetarians can eliminate the bacon altogether for an equally delicious meal. —Danielle
Serves 2, with leftovers
- 12 ounces cubed butternut squash (or sugar pie pumpkin)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 stalks green onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 3 ounces feta cheese
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 4 pieces high quality bacon, cooked and diced
- 3/4 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425. If your squash isn't pre-cubed, cube it now. Place squash on heavy-rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes (maybe less if your squash is cubed on the smaller side), checking occasionally and shaking the pan if any pieces look stuck. Remove from oven and set aside; your squash should be dark brown on some sides but not burnt.
- While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa and add it to a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook 10 minutes. Add kale on top and recover, simmering for 5 minutes longer. Then, turn your burner off and let the kale continue to steam, covered, for 5 additional minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, mince your sage and garlic; chop your green onions. I like to use the entire onion, from the dark green parts all the way down until just before the onion bulb. Place sage, garlic, green onion, and feta in the bottom of a large bowl with a sealable lid (if you don't have one of these, a large pot would work in a pinch). Mash the feta with a fork or spoon to break up any large crumbles, and top with some freshly ground black pepper.
- Once the quinoa and kale are done steaming, quickly fluff the mixture and toss it on top of the feta mash. Mix to incorporate and seal the lid onto your bowl. I try to do this as quickly as possible, as the steam will very lightly "cook" your garlic and melt your feta, distributing the flavors wonderfully. Let sit 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
- By now, your squash should be cooked. If it's not, that's fine-- the quinoa mixture can continue to steam until it's ready. Add it to the bowl, smashing the cubes into the quinoa as you incorporate it. Stir in bacon bits and diced celery. Finish with a healthy pinch of salt, stir once more to combine, and enjoy!