Ok, before anyone passes over this recipe because it sounds complicated …. it’s not, I promise! I pulled it together in about 40 minutes on a cold Sunday afternoon, warming our palates and our hearts!
Based loosely on this recipe from the Canadian Queens of the Kitchen (IMO), I cut back on the oil, cut back on the quinoa (mostly because this was my first time cooking quinoa in chai tea and I wanted to make sure it would work!), amped up the greens, and worked with what I had on hand at home.
- 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
- 1 1/2 cups strongly brewed chai tea
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups butternut squash, cubed (no need to remove the skin!)
- 3 cups packed spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup seed and cranberry blend (I use this one from Costco or Amazon)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp dried chives (1/4 cup fresh parsley would be better if you have it, per the original recipe)
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- Cook the quinoa in a slow cooker with the chai tea, or check out the original recipe for how to cook it in a pot. (Note: I personally use more liquid than is typically recommended, so that it’s nice and moist and doesn’t burn in the slow cooker. Follow my recipe as written above and it should come out very moist!)
- Turn the squash cubes in the olive oil in a bowl, then spread on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425F for about 20 minutes, until tender. Stir about halfway through their baking time.
- Add quinoa and squash together in a large bowl. Add spinach, lemon juice, seed/cranberry mixture, chives (or parsley). Salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 6 servings. Per serving:
- calories: 167
- protein: 4g
- carbs: 23g
- fat: 7g
PS – the chai flavor is very mild. Try adding a little pumpkin pie spice to give it more chai flavor!
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