A delicious vegan pilaf made with brown rice, quinoa, slivered almonds and butternut squash. Spiced with nutmeg, thyme and fresh basil. The almonds are browned in olive oil and the squash is roasted with thyme for extra flavor.
I know by now some people in North America might be a bit tired of pumpkin and squash recipes, it is almost Christmas! But I had a beautiful butternut squash at home ready to be used, with a deep and intense orange color and full of flavor. So I created this pilaf recipe.
Pilaf is a rice dish, sometimes made with wheat, where the grains are usually cooked in broth then mixed with spices, vegetables and at times also meat. But the pilaf’s main characteristic is that the grains don’t stick together, you have a free flow rice. The trick here is to not overcook the rice so it won’t be sticky, the Italians would say “al dente”.
For a more fragrant and fresh recipe I also included some basil leaves. Besides being a delicious and widely used herb, basil might also be a gentle sedative, may help treat ulcers, lower blood pressure and may reduce joint pain and headaches. To maximize flavor and deliciousness, always add your basil at the end of the recipe to prevent its volatile oils from dissipating together with the flavor.
If you are a fan of pumpkins and squashes like me you should try the Butternut Squash & Coconut Pie, pure bliss.
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 20 + 30 mins | Total: 65 mins
3 ¾ cups of cubed butternut squash
2 tbsp of olive oil divided
2 cups of vegetable broth
½ cup of quinoa
½ cup of brown rice
½ medium onion chopped
⅓ cup of slivered almonds
½ tsp of thyme
¼ tsp of nutmeg
1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
2 tbsp of soy sauce
Salt & black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cubed squash in the prepared baking sheet. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, the thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Toss until all ingredients are well combined. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender but not too soft. Stir the butternut squash half the baking time.
In a medium saucepan add the vegetable broth, the quinoa and rice. Bring to a boil and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
In a large skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat it up for 2 minutes. Add the slivered almonds and cook, always stirring until the almonds are lightly brown. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the cooked rice and quinoa and stir well. Add the nutmeg, black pepper and soy sauce and mix until evenly distributed. Add the chopped fresh basil and the roasted butternut squash and gently stir. Enjoy!