Welcome to October! For foodies, this is one of the best months of the year. Fall produce is in full swing, farmers markets are overflowing with autumn’s best flavors, from cauliflower to apples and pumpkins, and hearty, satisfying foods and flavors are in full effect.
This recipe has it all: comforting roasted winter veggies, lean protein from the chicken sausage, fiber from the quinoa, leafy greens, and a little pop of sweetness from the cranberries. It is a crowd pleaser and is perfect as a main or side dish!
- 3 small butternut squash
- 1 lb ground chicken sausage
- 3/4 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1¼ cups chicken broth
- 2 cups kale (stems removed)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut each butternut squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out all the seeds from inside with a spoon. Drizzle olive oil on the cut side of each squash and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast for approximately 30 minutes or until you can easily stick a knife all the way through.
- While the squash is cooking, make the filling. Start by rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a fine mesh strainer. Then in a medium sized pot, combine the quinoa and broth. Put the pot over high heat until you bring the liquid to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
- Next, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Add the chicken sausage, season with salt and pepper, and use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally until the meat is brown and cooked through. Once brown, drain off any excess oil or liquid from the meat, then add the kale. Stir frequently for about 1-2 minutes, until the kale is wilted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cranberries.
- Once the quinoa is done and all the liquid is absorbed, then add the quinoa to the sausage mixture and stir it all together.
- Once the butternut has cooked and cooled for a few minutes, it is time to assemble the meal. Before I transferred the filling, I scooped a little bit of the inside of the butternut out so that I would have more room for filling, then saved the rest for a later meal, but that step is optional.
- To assemble, spoon the quinoa mixture into each butternut squash until they are full. You will have some mixture left over to save for later.
Plate each butternut, serve and enjoy!
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