Grilled Pumpkin and Carrots over Quinoa

 You want to feel energized. You want to be healthy. And you want both at the same time! Sometimes this might seem like an impossible feat. Is it possible? Of course!

Grilled Pumpkin and Carrots over Quinoa recipe will rock your world. It’s tasty and nutritious. Grilled pumpkin recipes are fantastic because pumpkin is a veritable fiber feast. You’ll feel full and satisfied without having stuffed yourself full of some kind of less than ideal carb. Plus, pumpkin is packed with the antioxidants and phytonutrients your body needs for optimum health. We’ve decided to serve our pumpkin over quinoa, a protein-powerhouse, so not only will you feel satisfied, you’ll feel energized, too! Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

We sometimes can’t leave well enough alone, which is a controversial character defect, we know. Because of our commitment to perfecting each dish we concoct, we’ve added carrots and almonds to this grilled pumpkin and quinoa dish. The carrots show up to the party with vitamin A for all and the almonds hand out vitamin E packed treats. They all get along very well and treat you like the queen that you are. ENJOY!

 Yields: 6 servings | Calories: 239 | Total Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Sodium: 410 mg | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Carbohydrates: 32 g | Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 3 g | Protein: 6 g | SmartPoints: 7

 INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa (any color- white, red, black, golden, or a mix)
2 cups water
1/4 cup raw almonds
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half crosswise and then cut lengthwise
1 (1 to 1-1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into halves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

 DIRECTIONS

Start the grilled vegetables:
1.Toss squash and carrots in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
2.Oil the grates of a grill or a grill pan on the stovetop. Set heat to medium-high. Add carrots and squash and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side until carrots and squash are tender. Reduce heat if oil starts smoking. Add to a platter and set aside.

For the quinoa
1.Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well. Toast the quinoa (dry) by putting rinsed quinoa in a heavy bottomed pan and stir continuously over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, until the quinoa has a nutty smell but is not burnt.
2.Add the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil uncovered.
3.As soon as quinoa has reached a boil, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
4.After 15 minutes, remove the quinoa from heat and uncover to cool. Fluff quinoa with a fork.

For the almonds
1.Add almonds to a sauté pan or skillet and toast over medium high heat for about 3 minutes until nutty and fragrant but not burnt, stirring constantly. Remove from pan onto a plate and allow to cool.

For the dressing
1.Whisk two tablespoons lemon juice with two tablespoons olive oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the basil leaves and add to the dressing.

To serve
1.Add the dressing to the quinoa and stir with a fork to fully incorporate. Place the quinoa on a plate. Top with squash and carrots. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup basil leaves and almonds and serve warm.

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