Roasted Butternut With Quinoa & Fennel
Good to the gut, blood cleansing, healthy brain healthy heart.
Though I am not strictly a vegetarian, I find plant and grain based recipes more appealing to prepare. It’s also easier to make up components as I go along, and to get really creative. This is a fantastic recipe for digestion and cleansing of the system after a weekend of indulgence and low will-power. I am aware of the recent controversy surrounding my beloved quinoa, and as yet I am undecided on my moral standpoint of whether I am able to give it up all together. I have cut down on my consumption, however its nutritional value is too significant to exclude all together (especially for vegans and vegetarians). This recipe has only half a cup of quinoa for protein, and the bulk of the salad is made up by roasted butternut and fennel. If you want to cut out quinoa all together, buckwheat is a great substitute.
- 1 medium butternut, skinned and diced (1 cup = 1/3 daily vitamin C, high in fibre, regulates blood sugar)
- ½ cup of red or white quinoa (superfood: omega 3, zinc, magnesium, potassium, protein)
- 1 large bulb of fennel (suppresses inflammation, aids digestion, vitamin C)
- 4 large garlic cloves (vitamin C, reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure)
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (boosts immunity, mood uplifting, fights acne, treats colds)
- 1 handful of coriander (lowers blood sugar, detoxifying, removed heavy metals from the body)
- 2 Tbs of coconut oil for roasting (saturated fat, stable cooking oil)
- Juice & zest of 1 lemon (vitamin C, alkalising, blood cleansing)
- Olive oil (Omega 6, B12, vitamin E&K, skin and brain health)
Preptime: 1 hour
Preheat oven to 200 degrees (fan & grill), and place jar of coconut oil in for a few minutes to liquidate.
Line a roasting or baking tray with wax paper. Take a blunt object such as a rolling pin or jam jar and crush the garlic cloves, still in their shells. Distribute diced butternut, whole crushed garlic cloves and thyme across the surface, then pour over coconut oil and massage into the cubes using your fingers (also very moisturising for your hands).
Place into preheated oven and roast until the cubes start to brown. Cooking time approximately 35 minutes. Turn cubes from time to ensure even roasting. When a fork easily pierces the cubes, the job is done.
Bring one part quinoa to three parts water to the boil. Cooking time approximately 10-15 minutes. (The trick to tasty quinoa is in the amount of salt you add to the water, as well as the addition of lemon juice once cooked - be generous with both!) Once boiling, reduce heat and stir occasionally. The quinoa is done when the grain turns translucent and little white tails pop out. There should be not excess water left, but if so, drain once done. Now add the juice of lemon and toss to distribute.
Leave both butternut and quinoa to cool down for a few minutes.
Slice fennel into ½ cm slices. Remove the thyme sprigs from the butternut and place cubes into a bowl (I like to leave in the garlic for added bursts of flavour but you might want to remove if you don’t enjoy the taste of roasted garlic), adding quinoa on top, and finally the fennel.
Pour over the olive oil and add lemon zest. Finally, pull apart coriander leaves with your hands and add to the bowl. Now toss everything together and season the way you prefer it.