Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa

Did you see the recent study about how all red meat is bad for you? Surely there are counter-arguments about the need for eating [insert anything] in moderation, but still, the study is pretty scary. It definitely gave me pause and made me take some time for self-reflection. I love me some bacon and pork chops (and let's not forget a perfectly prepared burger out on the town), so I started to wonder just how much red meat I consume in an average week.

I've started a red meat journal, and in the last week found that with beef and pork combined, I'm definitely consuming more than my fair share. So, I've decided to start a new tradition: Meatless Mondays. Totally meatless. I won't even allow myself fish. I'm thinking of it as a new culinary adventure and an opportunity to dig up fun new recipes.

I know lunches might not offer a whole lot of variety (my first MM lunch centered around a veggie wrap with cheese and hummus), but I'm excited to explore what dinner might have in store for me. For my very first Meatless Monday dinner, I went with this Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa recipe from Eat, Live, Run that a friend suggested to me a while back (it was her birthday Monday, so I decided to make it in her honor). :)

Caveat: it does call for chicken broth, so the purists might call me out on my totally meatless declaration, but it's my first time out, so I think I'm okay :)

I have to tell you, this dish was shockingly quite delicious. All of the flavors combined to really bring out a hearty meal. I'm coming to find more and more delight in quinoa (of course, garlic, onion and seasonings make it hard not to) and in my opinion, squash just doesn't get enough credit for its tastiness.

To up the veggie ante, dinner was well-paired with a simple side salad of romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, sliced bella mushrooms, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and ranch dressing.

Got any good meatless recipes that I should try? Send 'em my way :)


  1. Yum - your pictures look delicious! I've been interested in Meatless Mondays and the challenges & benefits of going meatless one day a week. Lent is hard enough on me. :) Keep us posted on your progress and I'll be on the look-out for good recipes!

  2. It definitely is hard with Lent, but I'm actually hoping it might be sustainable in the long-term (no meat on Mondays/fish only on Fridays). I'm only in week two with the Meatless Mondays, so we'll see how it goes :) Yesterday was hard since I didn't eat dinner at home, but I survived!

  3. I don't eat much red meat, it just isn't my favorite anymore and when I do, it tastes good but feels like lead in my stomach, so I know it isn't good for me. Pork, is the other white meat isn't doesn't count in the red meat category! I could almost give up meat...but not bacon or seafood. We eat tons of chicken...healthier and lots of options. I have a bag of quinoa and a butternut squash here. I did quinoa once years ago and never tried it again. I bought some to give it a try and this looks great!

  4. Thanks for the shout-out and glad you enjoyed the recipe. I've been craving it lately. Love, love, LOVE quinoa!