The Thanksgiving Countdown Begins

Recipe courtesy of glutenfreegoddess.blogspot,ca

This coming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I couldn't be more excited. I LOVE this holiday - spending time with family, getting cozy by the fire, and eating tons of  comfort foods.

Of course, there's a bit of a down side: those comfort foods we love so much tend to be loaded with all kinds of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, wheat, and processed items. So in order to have my (figurative!) cake and eat it, too, I'm going to spend all week sharing my favorite healthy spins on Thanksgiving favorites.

Today, we'll start with this recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess - an awesome alternative to candied yams, a Canadian favorite that involves dumping marshmallows - yes, you read that right - on top of baked yams. I could go into the health impediments, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Red Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Pecans


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1 smallish butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved or chopped as you prefer
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, diced fine
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Pure maple syrup, to taste
  • Sea salt
  • A sprinkle of ginger and/or curry, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve. Cook the red quinoa in a rice cooker, using a 1:2 ratio of 1 cup red quinoa to 2 cups water. As mentioned above, if you like it softer, add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. If you don't have a rice cooker, cook the quinoa on the stove in a pot, according to package directions.

In a medium roasting pan add the butternut squash, cranberries, onion and garlic. Drizzle with a dash of olive oil, to coat. Add a teaspoon or two of pure maple syrup- not too much. Sprinkle with sea salt, ginger and a dash of curry. Toss everything together. Roast in the top half of the oven until the squash is tender- about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet and lightly toast the pecans, till fragrant.

In a large warmed serving bowl, add in the cooked quinoa and the roasted butternut mixture. Add in the toasted pecans, chopped parsley. Taste test and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with some fruity extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.