Butternut Squash and Tofu Quinoa Pilaf

Sometimes the best things in life are simple. I completely winged this recipe the other night, and it turned out quite delightful! The flavors are more like something you’d find in a fall recipe, but I had actually never cooked with a whole butternut squash before and was totally dying to try it. I had no idea what I was doing, to be honest. I just peeled it, cubed it and roasted it – roasting is my “safety net” when I don’t know what to do with something! I shared this recipe with one of my coworkers; she made it and her husband even had seconds AND her neighbors loved it to! Pilaf recipes are definitely my go-to recipes when I feel low motivation in the kitchen because all it involves is chopping veggies, adding water and seasonings and let it boil. Enjoy:)

1 package firm tofu cut into cubes, drained and gently pressed dry (don’t buy the pre-cubed kind, cutting your own up is best)
1 medium butternut squash
1 ½ cup quinoa (the tri-color quinoa is great, but the white is fine)
1 cup mushroom slices
½ cup shredded carrot
½ cup finely sliced celery
½ cup chopped green onion
2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1-2 tsp minced garlic
rosemary to taste
black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste

preheat oven to 370. Cube tofu into ½” cubes, set aside in bowl. Peel butternut squash with carrot peeler and cut into cubes. If you’ve  never used a butternut squash before, the bulbous part at the bottom will be like the inside of a pumpkin. You will scrape out the seeds and stringy flesh just the same as you do a jackolantern pumpkin. Spray a cookie sheet well with nonstick spray. Toss tofu cubes and butternut squash well in a bowl with the 2 tbsp olive oil and the rosemary, black pepper and sea salt to taste. Pop in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. While the tofu cubes and butternut squash cubes are roasting, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet on the stove top. Add Quinoa and heat until it becomes fragrant. add garlic, spices and veggies, sautee 5 minutes. Add water or vegetable broth (veg broth is better but contains more sodium) to quinoa package directions specifications and bring to a boil in the skillet. Simmer until all water is absorbed and veggies are cooked (about 20-25 minutes) – perfect timing! The tofu and butternut squash will probably be done before the quinoa, so remove and let cool. When quinoa and veggies are done, fluff and add all ingredients to a large bowl, toss to mix well and serve! This will probably make like 6 or so servings.


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