Quinoa and Winter Squash Bake

Linda made this recipe for the Springwater Trails social at the Laffords.

Quinoa and Winter Squash Bake


  • 1 ½ pounds butternut or other winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing dish and brushing on top
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespooons ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup +1 tablespoon water
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (cook in vegetable broth for best flavor)
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants or chopped dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the squash into ½ inch cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast until tender about 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
  3. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  4. Combine the flax and water in a medium bowl and stir with a fork until thickened. Mash half of the squash using a fork or food processor. Add the mashed squash to the flax and stir with a fork until well-combined. Set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Transfer to a large bowl.
  6. Add the quinoa and mashed squash-flax mixture to the bowl along with the paprika, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Stir until well combined. Add the remaining cubed squash, pumpkin seeds, and currants, and stir until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a greased 9-inch pie plate or a similar-sized oven-proof dish. Press it down firmly and evenly and brush a little olive oil on top. Bake until set and edges are browned, about 40 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week.



Creamy Cherry Tomato Salad

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup mayo

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbs rice wine vinegar

1 garlic clove minced

3 cups of corn kernels, fresh or canned

1/4 cup torn basil leaves

1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 cup raisins

Salt and pepper to taste

Salt tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.  Whisk together mayo, sour cream, vinegar and garlic; set aside.  Add corn, basil, onion and raisins to tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper, and toss with dressing.


Basic Granola


Homemade Granola


  • 5 cups oats (old fashioned, not the quick cooking kind),
  • 2 Cups nuts/seeds of your choice,
  • 2/3 cup oil ( I like to use olive oil),
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon,
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg,
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger,
  • 2/3 cup of honey or maple syrup,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and
  • 1 cup of dried fruit or other additions you like.


  1. In a bowl combine the oats and nuts/seeds.
  2. Add in seasonings and mix well.
  3. Pour in oil, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla and mix well again.
  4. Spread out on two baking sheets and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes,
  5. take out and turn with a spatula every 10 minutes to make sure all pieces bake evenly.
  6. Add in dried fruit the last 20 minutes of baking.
  7. I soak the dried fruit in some boiling water before I put them in - I like them plumbed up.


The granola smells yummy and you can customize it to your own taste. I add a double portion of ginger. Any dried fruit can be used and any nuts. Baked unsalted almonds are wonderful.


Chicken and Carrot Orzo Soup

Chicken and Carrot Orzo Soup

Time: 30 minutes

Servings: Serves 15

bowl of soup


  • 7 cups homemade or canned chicken broth
  • 10 cups water
  • 16 oz orzo (in pasta aisle, it is like a large grain of rice)
  • 8 oz cooked chicken pieces
  • 8 carrots - shredded
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced, including green portion
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth and water to a boil.
  2. Add the orzo and cook about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Add the chicken, carrots, green onions, cilantro, ginger
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender but still firm about 4 minutes.
  5. Place in crock pot on low til ready to eat.


This is a good soup recipe to make from chicken leftovers and broth a few days before our Sunday hikes and to keep the cost under $10.00 for a dish to pass. It has a nice cilantro and ginger taste. Make sure you refrigerate the chicken broth and chicken from leftovers. I purchase a large full chicken for about $8.00 and made 3 meals out of it...fresh chicken, a chicken casserole, and boiled up the carcus for 3 hours in water, strain, save the broth, and pick through the pieces of meat to make sure there are no bones. This makes a great soup base. Prepare soup recipe and keep soup in refrigerator til Sunday morning, place in a crockpot on high to warm up, then to low or warm and take to the hike for everyone to enjoy. Easy to make and not too expensive if you don't have to separately buy chicken and canned broth. Everyone loves it!