butternut squash w/ crispy rosemary beets and quinoa

This is a super simple veggie packed meal combining a lot of different textures and flavors. Great in the fall when you can find amazing squash and beets fresh and local. I've gotten the comment that 'a butternut squash is magic in my hands' but I think whoever said that doesn't realize that cumin is actually my secret ingredient to make everything delicious.  

butternut squash quinoa and rosemary

the harvest   

An important element to mindful eating is truly appreciating where your food came from. The forces of nature: water, soil, sun, and all of the people involved in getting ingredients to your plate. The fall is such a perfect time to practice gratitude because you can't help but be hit over the head with the amount of beautiful vegetables and fruits ripening. Tips for staying mindful with this meal:

- Take a moment before you dive in to think about all the people and forces of nature that made your plate possible.
- Express one element you are grateful for in regards to this meal. It will add a lot of joy and overall feeling of contentedness to your experience. 

beets in a bowl

3 small-medium beets
1 small butternut squash (peeled, and diced)
3-5 cups of veggie soup stock (or bouillon) 
1 clove garlic
1/2 tablespoon of fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 cup quinoa
1 large spring of rosemary
1 handful of basil (cut into strips)
olive oil, salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel the beets and cut into thin rounds, either with a mandolin or sharp knife. I recommend not too thin because they have a tendency to burn. Coat with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and lay out individually on a baking pan. Cook for about 15 mins and turn the pieces over, cook for another 15 mins w/the rosemary added. Really here you have to watch to make sure they don't burn because cooking time will depend on how thin your pieces are.

Peel, remove the seeds, and dice the squash into inch cubes or smaller. Add the garlic, ginger and some olive oil to a deep frying pan or pot. Saute for about 3 mins then add the stock, squash, and cumin and cover the pan. Simmer on medium heat for about 20 mins or until the pieces are soft. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and use a masher, or large fork to cream the squash. Leave some pieces semi in-tact to create a chunkier consistency. 

Meanwhile cook the quinoa according to the package directions. To plate spoon a large portion of squash, add the quinoa, and then fan out the beet chips. Add cut basil and freshly ground pepper to garnish.