Mushroom-Asparagus “Quisotto” on Butternut Squash Puree
With apologies in advance to Italians and culinary traditionalists, this twist on risotto featuring quinoa in place of arborio rice is not only a time saver, it’s also loaded with both flavor and nutrition. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it provides all nine essential amino acids. It’s an especially great form of protein for anyone on a plant-based diet. It’s also rich in cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and has prebiotic properties that promote gut health. It’s got a sort of nutty flavor and makes a great gluten-free substitute in dishes that rely on pasta or rice. I loved it served on a creamy bed of butternut squash puree, but you could easily serve this on a bed of greens or alongside some wild caught Alaskan salmon.
If you give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think!
1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I like a mixture of Shiitake and Cremini, but all Cremini is fine)
1 bunch Asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1/2” pieces
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Vegan Butter (I like Miyoko’s brand)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 C uncooked Quinoa
2 C Mushroom (or Vegetable) Stock
Saute mushrooms in olive oil or vegan butter. After about 3 minutes, add the asparagus and saute together for another 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
In same pan, add a bit of olive oil and cook quinoa for 5 - 8 minutes, stirring frequently so it won’t burn.
Add stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, and continue stirring until nearly all liquid is absorbed.
Add mushrooms and asparagus back to pan and cover for 5 minutes.
Stir ingredients together, and serve.
Butternut Squash Puree
3 - 4 C Butternut Squash, chopped into 2” piece
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Additional Olive Oil or Vegan Butter (I used Miyoko’s brand)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Drizzle oil over squash, season with sea salt, and roast in oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
Remove squash from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Place squash in food processor fitted with a blade and process with a bit of butter or oil until very smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, and serve.