Ok, so I’m late getting this post up because I made this a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share it in time for those of you looking for vegetarian friendly and healthier Thanksgiving ideas. Better late than never! If I missed your weekend grocery shopping mission and if it doesn’t make it to your Thanksgiving table, I hope you’ll still add it to your fall recipes collection. This is a simple recipe and I plan to make it again for my mother over the holidays in an attempt to convince her to try quinoa and like pumpkin.
I am a big pumpkin fan. I love it in sweet and savory dishes and love it even more for its status as a superfood. According to research by the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Nutrition, pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Pumpkin is also low in calories, high in fiber, and contains other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin C, iron, and potassium.
I’ve found that my dear husbanders occasionally is turned off by pumpkin, but I think it is because many recipes pair pumpkin with cinnamon and cloves, and he is not a fan of either spice. Knowing this, neither cinnamon nor cloves are in this Pumpkin Mushroom Quinoa Risotto recipe and this was gobbled right up.
This recipe would be great with fresh pumpkin puree and toasted pumpkin seeds. I opted for quick and simple and used a can of Libby’s pure pumpkin puree instead of fresh pumpkin. Just make sure it’s pure pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling!
PUMPKIN-MUSHROOM QUINOA RISOTTO STYLE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ -2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 15 oz (approx. 425g) can of pure pumpkin puree
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley
¼ cup sliced almonds, optional
In a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until the onions and mushrooms are soft. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add quinoa and stir, toasting the quinoa, another 1-2 minutes.
Add white wine and de-glaze, scraping up the brown bits as needed. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add 1 1/2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is softened, about 12-15 minutes, adding additional broth as needed. The quinoa should be soft, but the mixture should still be just slightly watery. Add the pumpkin puree and combine. The pumpkin should thicken up the mixture substantially.
Once the pumpkin is combined and heated, stir in the grated parmesan. Turn off the heat, salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with parsley and almonds and serve!
TIP: To toast the sliced almonds, I just place them on a small baking sheet and put them in the oven (or toaster oven) at 425F for about 4 minutes. Once the almonds are fragrant, you take them out and you are good to go!