In the depth of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. – Albert Camus
It’s pumpkin (a.k.a. winter squash) season and I am happy to share with you a delicious, seasonal recipe–Quinoa Pumpkin Risotto–that I just can’t get enough of in the fall and winter months. Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it is packed with foods that promote optimal health: mushrooms, turmeric, aromatic herbs and leafy greens. However, the secret ingredient to this recipe is fresh sage. Sage is an incredible aromatic herb that not only strengthens our immune system and detoxifies the body, but it also greatly aides fungal issues…(think candida, yeast and sibo). On top of this, according to Anthony Willam’s book, “Life Changing Foods,” sage has the ability to remove toxic heavy metals from the intestinal tract. Along with oregano, rosemary, and thyme…sage has incredible healing and therapeutic properties, which protect our body and promote optimal health. Feel free to drop me an email if you end up making the recipe. I would love your feedback!
Health Properties of Quinoa…
Quinoa is a high protein, non-gutinous seed, which makes it a wonderful alternative to meat for vegan and vegetarians. Not only is it a compete protein, quinoa is also an excellent source of magnesium and manganese. Most American’s are deficient in magnesium (a critical mineral for energy), so it’s imperative to include magnesium-rich foods in the diet and/or supplement…read more on magnesium here. Quinoa also contains vitamins B2, vitamin E, iron and dietary fiber. Did you know quinoa is a great substitute for rice dishes? Because it cooks like rice, but quicker and has a mild to neural flavor…the sky is the limit when experimenting with quinoa. To cook, simply rinse one cup of quinoa with filtered water and then boil in 2 cups of water for 15 minuets…et viola! Great for satiation and sustaining energy, quinoa is one of those healthy, yet simple, on-the-go-foods that everyone could benefit from. Finally, because quinoa is wheat and gluten-free, it is excellent for those who have allergies to grains. One cup of quinoa contains 8.14 grams of protein. (Murray, 2005)
Health Benefits of Pumpkin…
Pumpkin (winter squash) is a wonderful source of carotenes–the more vibrant the color, the richer the concentration. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and B1, folic acid, pantothenic acid, potassium, and dietary fiber. Even more, it is an excellent source of vitamin B6 and niacin. Diets rich in carotenes offer protection against type 2 diabetes and many cancers.
Ingredients: (Serves 2-4)
– 2 c. cooked quinoa
– 4 1/4 c. filtered water or vegetable broth
– 3/4 can organic pumpkin puree
– 1-2 cups of chopped crimini mushrooms
– 1-2 shallots or 1/2 yellow onion chopped
– 1-2 gloves of fresh chopped garlic (optional)
– 1-2 tbs Nutiva Buttery Coconut Oil
– 1 tbs turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
– 1c. organic baby spinach
– 1-2 tsp dried Italian herbs
– 2 tbs fresh sage, chopped (optional)
– 2 pinches of sea salt
– 1-2 tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
In a medium pot, boil four cups of filtered water (add more water if you prefer your quinoa more moist) with two cups of dry, white quinoa for 15 minutes. Once finished, add in organic pumpkin puree, turmeric, sea salt, Italian herbs and fresh sage and let everything simmer on low. *Optional: add in 1 tbs. of Nutiva’s butter coconut oil for buttery flavor. Give it a taste test and make sure the seasoning is to your liking. While quinoa is simmering, sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic in a separate pan with buttery coconut oil. Add in baby spinach at the end. Once your mushrooms are fully cooked, plate your quinoa and pile your sautéed mushrooms on top. Add additional Italian herbs for more aromatic herbal power. Dust on nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and additional B vitamins.
*Tip: Meal prep your quinoa ahead of time to save yourself time.
Bauman, E. (2015). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook, Part 1. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.
Murray, Michael, N.D. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005.