Thanksgiving is my all time favorite Holiday, I think you will find this true with most food obsessed people, it is an entire day of giving thanks and stuffing your face full of mouthwatering, carb loaded food, while wearing stretchy pants and not saving room for dessert but eating it anyway, then passing out in a food coma- sounds about right, doesn't it?
So it was a no brainer when NOW Foods contacted me to participate in their smart swap holiday challenge- creating a holiday themed recipe with a "health halo" using NOW Foods product.
Since I am going to be in the Caribbean this Thanksgiving we are celebrating a little earlier than usual. I am sad/not sad I won't be home for Thanksgiving, but couldn't pass up making my huge spread as usual, which, of course always includes a "main course" - this year the centerpiece on our table are these beautiful winter squash + quinoa rissoles, which just so happens to be gluten free as well as vegan
(with plain pecans, not honey roasted).
That beautiful kale and butternut squash came straight from my backyard garden- it was so pretty I had a hard time parting ways. If you have been around SMBP for a while you know I am a huge fan of sweet + savory, this dish delivers on both fronts. A little sweetness from the pecans and a hit of spice from the locally grown and dried chili pepper.
When you mention quinoa to people they either hate it or love it. I have found the haters simply don't understand how to cook with quinoa ... yeah, it's pretty boring straight up, quinoa likes to be dressed up, and it also likes to be rinsed before getting all fancied up.
Not boring at all, so freaking pretty.
Served over a bed of greens + herbs it makes for a pretty impressive main course for your vegan and vegetarian friends, you even cover gluten free guests as well!
The Maple aioli brings this dish to a whole 'nother level.
Trust me, don't skip this.
What do you looooooove about Thanksgiving?
Winter Squash + Quinoa Rissoles
makes 10 (1/2 cup) Rissoles
you will need:
4-5 cups seeded, peeled + cubed winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, Turban)
1/2 cup (dry) Living Now® Tri Color Quinoa + 1 cup water
1/3 cup Living Now® NOW Foods honey roasted pecans
1/2 cup Living Now® Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2 cups loosely packed kale
Sea Salt to taste ( I used 2 tsp sea salt)
Dried hot pepper 1 tsp or so
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp vegan mayo
2 tsp pure maple syrup
Steam or roast winter squash
Rinse quinoa under cold water, bring 1 cup water to a boil and cook quinoa for 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed.
Pulse pecans, kale + dried hot pepper in food processor, add cooked squash and pulse a few times until squash begins to combine with kale + pecans. Add Quinoa, flour + salt, process for about 30 seconds until a mixture begins to form, careful not to over mix.
Allow mixture to slightly cool, enough to comfortably handle.
(If making in advance mixture can be refrigerated at this point until ready to use)
(Alternately by hand, mash the winter squash, finely chop the pecans + pepper and shred the kale)
A 1/2 cup at a time form mixture into patties/discs, a 1/4 cup for appetizer size bites.
Pan fry in a pan lightly coated with coconut oil and fry each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes over medium low heat (do not over crowd your pan) continue until all the mixture is formed and fried.
Keep rissoles warm in a 250 degree oven until ready to serve.
Serve with a maple aioli or cranberry chutney over a bed of herbs + Fall greens.
to make the aioli:
Combine Maple Syrup + Vegan Mayo and stir until well mixed
“"This recipe post was created as part of the NOW Foods Holiday Smart Swap Recipe Challenge.”