Welcome Autumn: Quinoa with Squash and Veggies

As I was tripping around Italy, every now and then I would spot a newsstand (remember those?) on a street corner. Always tempted by yet another Italian cooking magazine, I couldn’t help but pick up a few Cucina Moderna issues during the trip. These magazines are the Italian version of the recipe section of Better Homes and Gardens; they are chock full of tasty recipes, some traditional Italian, others with a new and interesting twist, all with mouth-watering photos.

I wanted to share this autumn recipe with you because it includes a variety of vegetables and is hearty and filling. You know what they say, “Eat your colors,” and this recipe is a virtual rainbow, so I know it must be healthy. Also, the quinoa provides a complete protein. I have made it twice since I have been home! This vegetarian dish comes from the Sept. 2018 issue of Vegetariani in Cucina.

Quinoa with Squash and Vegetables

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Vegetarian dish celebrates autumn vegetables.


  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 scallions, sliced into rounds including green stems
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 medium carrot – cut into thin rounds
  • 1.5 cups raw winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes. (Butternut, delicata, Kabocha, Red Kuri are good choices)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • cauliflower, one half bunch, cut into floweretts
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced or 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • optional – a handful of shaved almonds


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot and add carrots and squash. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of water and add cauliflower, celery, peas and tomatoes. Cover and gently simmer until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Stir occassionally.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare quinoa. For a more nutty flavor, toast dry quinoa in about 2 tsp. of olive oil. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the quinoa. Push quinoa around with a wooden spoon while it toasts, only toasting for about 1 minute as it will burn easily. You just want to toast it long enough to add a nutty flavor. Remove quinoa and add to 2 cups boiling water. Cover and reduce heat. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
  4. When quinoa is done, put in a large bowl for serving. Spoon the vegetables over the quinoa. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve. For an added crunch, sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
  5. This dish can be eaten hot or cold; have it for lunch, or as a side dish at dinner.  Buon Appetito!

    autumn 3

3 thoughts

  1. Welcome back, Ellen, and thanks for the fall veggies inspiration. I love Kabocha and think any dish containing it will be a hit. Can’t wait to make this.

Your comments are always welcome!