Quinoa with Butternut & Caramelized Onions

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain. It originates in the Andean mountains of South America. It is high in protein, minerals and vitamins. It aids in digestion, in reducing high blood pressure; and is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Lysine content is higher in quinoa than in wheat. Because it has a fairly bland taste, it marries well with a variety of different flavours, vegetables and spices.

Serves 4 as a main dish; 6 portions as a side dish.


  • 500 ml quinoa
  • 1-litre vegetable stock
  • 400 g butternut, cut into small chunks
  • 5 ml ground cumin
  • 5 ml ground coriander
  • 3 ml paprika
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 25 ml sugar


  1. Soak quinoa for 5 minutes in cold water, strain through a sieve.
  2. Place quinoa in vegetable stock and bring to the boil; simmer for 15 minutes. Place the lid on the saucepan and allow to stand for 5 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff up quinoa grains with a fork.
  3. Preheat oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/ Gas mark 6.
  4. Toss butternut, cumin, coriander, paprika, onion, garlic, sugar and 60 ml olive oil together.
  5. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes or until butternut is cooked but still firm. Stir occasionally during cooking.
  6. Saute mushrooms on medium to high heat in 15 ml olive oil, until softened and browned. Season with salt and black pepper.
  7. Steam green beans for 8 – 10 minutes, until still firm and crunchy.
  8. On a large serving platter combine quinoa, roasted butternut mixture, mushrooms, green beans, lemon juice and rind, and parsley. Stir gently to mix.
  9. Season to taste. Serve warm or cold.


  • Crumble feta cheese over quinoa dish for extra protein.
  • Toast 30 ml sesame or sunflower seeds and add in step 7.
  • Chop 50 g dried apricots and add in step 8.
  • Add a few slices of fried chorizo in step 8.

60 ml olive oil
300 g mushrooms, sliced
15 ml olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
300 g green beans, topped and tailed
Juice and rind of l lemon

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