This little gem of a dish was my go to lunch in the first 6 months after my daughter was born.
In my experience the first 3 – 6 months after baby arrives home, virtually no routine, day or night exists. There have been countless times on returning home (always famished) from a morning trip to the GP, shops or a walk and I would have two hungry children who needed feeding pronto.
Quick processed food only gives a delivery of calories with little substance. This type of food didn’t give me the proper energy to look after a baby and an energetic toddler on sometimes only 2-3 hrs sleep!
So I needed healthy food I could quickly prepare for myself and let the oven do most of the work! I felt it was essential to keep eating well especially during these challenging days. I realised quickly that if I kept the foods in this meal as cupboard staples I would always have a healthy, nourishing meal available.
Simply peel and chop the vegetables and bung in the oven. You can then devote your time to toddler and baby’s needs, content knowing a delicious meal is under way. This is a meal I continue to cook most weeks. It’s easy, tasty, healthy and inexpensive.
I hope this dish comes to your rescue too!! Enjoy.
Prep – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
200g butternut squash
2 raw beetroots
6 cherry tomatoes
50g basmati rice
50g feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Simply peel and dice your butternut squash into cubes. Peel and cut your beetroots into wedges. Wash the tomatoes and place all into a baking dish with the coconut oil. As always after about 5 minutes once the oil has melted give the tray a good toss ensuring all vegetables get coated in the oil and place back in the oven. After 30 mins I switch off the oven but leave the vegetables in the heat of the oven until I’m ready to cook the quinoa & rice.
When you’re ready rinse the quinoa and rice and place in a pot with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes or as the package instructs.
Once cooked place the quinoa and rice on a plate, take the vegetables out of the oven and tumble them on top of the quinoa & rice. Crumble the feta over the dish and add a grind of salt and pepper to taste.
If you don’t eat dairy you can easily replace the feta with avocado or umeboshi vinegar.
Here’s the juicy bit . . .
Quinoa is considered a superfood due to its many health giving properties. It is actually a seed but we cook it like a grain. There are three types of quinoa, white, black and red. It is a great source of protein and is known as a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs for growth and repair. A valuable food for vegetarians, vegans or people who have difficulty digesting animal protein.
A high fibre food which aids in preventing constipation.
Quinoa is gluten free which is important for coeliacs and people who are gluten sensitive.
Finally this seed has a varied list of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants which all contribute to good health and wellbeing.