I don't know about you, but this time of year, it's easy to get sick of the peppermint cookie this, and the cranberry stuffed that. I want to eat something different with my holiday meals.
I think sweet and spicy is becoming one of my new go-to flavor combos. Sweet squash scrambled with eggs, and topped with sriracha? Check. Spicy chocolate ice cream? Okay! A Starbucks gingerbread latte? YES PLEASE. Got it? Sweet and spicy. It works. Now take plump, naturally sweetened California raisins and combine them with sweet and creamy squash, spicy kicked up quinoa and top with a fried egg. Now we're talking.
When I was visiting my family in Ohio over Thanksgiving, I went out with my siblings for brunch. Who doesn't love brunch? We went to this place that's locally owned and sources all of their food, you guessed it, locally. It's called the Sleepy Bee. Even Alton Brown loves it. Anyway, brunching seemed to spark a lightbulb in my brother's head. All of a sudden, he decided that I should go into business with him and open up an egg themed restaurant called Egg Place, but spelled "EggPlc." because apparently it's more hipster that way. His theory was that everything tastes better with an egg on top. He's not wrong. You could change the lyrics to Beyonce's song and exclaim "If you like it then you better put an egg on it," and it would probably be true 90% of the time.
By default, I'm pretty sure any recipe that involves butternut squash automatically feels "Holiday." I know you know what I mean. Like squash soup. It feels like fall and winter when I eat it. And in my book, fall and winter are holidays. Plus, food and holidays are supposed to bring back memories. And butternut squash will always provide me with a bright and shiny holiday memory. Thanksgiving 2012 people. I think sweet and spicy means holiday too. And since the sweet in this dish comes from the California raisins, it's a natural sweetness you can feel really good about. So this dish is definitely holiday. Got it? And since the holiday's are always full of such heavy, decadent foods, it's the clear choice to enjoy a dish made with foods that are good for you, like squash and of course all-natural California raisins. Plus, this dish is super budget friendly. Fun fact: did you know that according to the USDA, raisins are the most economical dried fruit? So start saving those pennies for your holiday gifting because this dish won't be breaking the bank.
Butternut Squash and California Raisin Quinoa With Egg and Garbanzo Beans
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, minced
3 cups butternut squash, diced
2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups kale, chopped
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
13/4 cup broth, boiling (veggie broth or chicken broth)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup golden California Raisins
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 T fresh lemon juice
shaved Parmesan cheese
over easy egg
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Add shallots; cook 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the squash and mushrooms and cook until the squash is tender (7 - 8 minutes). Add the kale and the garbanzo beans, stirring occasionally. Add the quinoa and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 3/4 cup broth and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Mix with almonds, raisins, parsley and lemon juice. Top each individual portion with a fried egg and some parmesan cheese.