Recipe of the Month- December

Quinoa Stuffing With Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Toasted Pecans

A lighter and significantly healthier version of a classic holiday dish, this quinoa stuffing has all the same spices as its traditional cousin so you'll be just as satisfied with its flavor. Feel free to cut the recipe in half for a family weeknight dish you can enjoy guilt-free all year round.

Serves 12 as a side dish

2 cups red quinoa
5 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp salt 
2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to grease baking dish
11/2 cups butternut squash, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, diced
11/4 tsp dried sage
2 T fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1. Bring quinoa, vegetable stock, and salt to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and vegetable stock is absorbed.

2. Heat 1 T of oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Sauté squash, stirring often, until tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Turn heat down to medium and add remaining oil, garlic, onion, and celery. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and then add sage, thyme, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 6 minutes, until the onion is completely tender and the celery is just tender. Transfer to the bowl with the squash.

3. Add the quinoa and the remaining ingredients, and stir together. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Preheat oven to 325˚ F.

5. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil, and grease with oil. Add squash and quinoa mix to the dish, and cover with foil. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until top gets crispy. Serve.

Nutrient Analysis per serving
Calories: 172; Total fat: 9 g; Sat fat: 4 g; Trans fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 440 mg; Total carbohydrate: 20 g; Dietary fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 5 g

This month's recipe is from Today's Dietitian:

Savory Stuffing — Classic Holiday Flavor Without the Classic Holiday Guilt
By Grace Dickinson
Today's Dietitian
Vol. 16 No. 11 P. 66

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