Baked grains are a wonderful addition as soon as the weather starts getting cooler. I learned this method from Sharon Gray, an acupuncturist and chinese herbalist in Seattle. The same method can be used for a variety of different grains, vegetables and seasonings. This week we had quinoa and lentils. One of my favorite combinations. Add to that some of the winter squash that’s in abundance right now and it’s super satisfying.
Baked Quinoa with Lentils and Squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups cut winter squash, 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup green or french lentils, rinsed and drained
1″square kelp or kombu
a few pinches of sea salt
handful of parsley leaves, washed and chopped (optional)
1. Oven to 350°. You will need a medium-sized oven-proof skillet, ceramic, or glass baking dish with a lid. Ideally, you will be able to cook on the stove and in the oven with the same dish.
2. On the stovetop, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the cubes of squash and gently saute for at least 5 minutes. Stir frequently and turn the heat lower if the squash starts to brown. You can let the squash cook for a while if you want to help it caramelize, but it’s not necessary, it just adds more flavor.
3. Add the lentils and quinoa. Stir and allow to saute for a few more minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water, sea salt and kelp/kombu. Bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven. Check at 30 minutes. Remove from the oven if all the liquid has been absorbed, otherwise continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes.
4. Stir in the parsley, if desired. Serve.
If you don’t have a dish that can go from stovetop to oven, just bring the mixture to a boil and quickly transfer to an oven-proof dish. Try to maintain as much of the heat as possible.