Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuffed Butternut Squash

It's storming out. I love thunderstorms. especially in November. because a thunderstorm in November, means it's warm enough to rain and not snow.

When I got to work today, I noticed one of my headlights had burnt out. Knowing it was going to get dark extra early tonight and anticipating the storm that was rolling in, this was a bummer. I ran to the auto parts store on my lunch break to buy a new bulb in hopes that I could convince some guy there to replace it for me. Note: almost every time I have had to have something replaced/fixed on my car, the man at the auto store does it for me. Most recently it was replacing my tail light. Honestly, I knew how to do this one and was completely prepaired to do it myself and the guy just came out and offered to do it for me. I don't mind the extra help.

Unfortunately, the store was pretty swamped while I was there and thus no help was offered. I was partly relieved because I really wanted to have the satisfaction of doing it myself. That is, until I opened the hood to see that the light that needed replaced was blocked by a cover that required tools to remove. So I drove home in the dark rain with one headlight determined to fix it when I got home. I had to have C help loosen one of the nuts (which I was actually the one to finally break it loose, just saying..) but other than that, I totally did it all on my own. Satisfaction. Achieved.

This dinner tonight was satisfaction too. Roasted butternut squash filled with quinoa, onion and sausage. Delicious. This was super easy, and I had the italian sausage links leftover from the sausage and veggie dish I made last week in the slow cooker.

P.S. If you haven't tried quinoa before, do yourself a favor and get some. It's so incredibly delicious. I had some leftover that I didn't add to the sausage and onions and it's taking serious willpower not to pull it out of the fridge and gobble it up. Or try this recipe.

1 butternut squash (or any variety you prefer)
1-2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 italian sausage links, cut in half, then sliced
Chicken stock or bouillon cubes to cook the quinoa in
Cut the butternut squash in half and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until it starts to soften. While the squash is baking, cook the quinoa in the broth. Water will work fine too, but the broth gives it a little extra flavor.

Heat a pan with about a tablespoon of EVOO and add the chopped onions. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, then add the sliced sausage. When the quinoa is done cooking, add it to the pan with the onion and sausage. Feel free to add any spices you want. I added a little garlic powder and black pepper, but the italian sausage had quite a bit of flavor already.

After 30 minutes, pull the squash out of the oven and fill the "crater" with the quinoa mixture. Put the squash back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy! We had leftover quinoa mixture (obviously it won't all fit into the squash at once) so I ate some extra on the side. :)

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