Did you know that papayas contain enzymes that help with digestion? They’re also known to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. (Oh, and did I mention, they’re delicious too?)
I came across an Instagram photo of a baked stuffed papaya that made my mouth water just looking at it. I’m always looking for different plant-based dinner recipes, and this seemed like a great idea. But I wanted to add some veggies that would pair just right the sweet papaya taste. I ended up going with sweet potatoes and butternut squash (which paired perfectly), tossed in some quinoa, and topped it with arugula, pomegranate seeds, sprouts, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. YUM.
(For non-vegans/vegetarians, this would probably be great topped with a few grilled shrimp, too!)
BTW – this has to be one of my favorite food photos. Doesn’t it just make you want to take a big bite out of that juicy papaya?
For the quinoa, you’ll be using 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, so you’ll want to add about 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa to about 2 cups water, as the quinoa will expand and grow once it’s cooked. I also like to use the bags of butternut squash that are already sliced and cubed – it’s much easier!
|Baked Stuffed Papaya Boats|| |
- 1 papaya
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup butternut squash, cubed
- ½ cup sweet potato, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- Handful of arugula (about 10 leaves)
- Handful of Sprouts (about ½ cup)
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Dash of cinnamon and sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Boil ¼ cup quinoa in 2 cups of water until soft.
- While quinoa is cooking, peel and slice the sweet potato into cubes, and slice the squash into cubes if not using pre-packaged squash.
- Fill a pot with 1-2 inches of water, add squash and sweet potato, and cover.
- Steam over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft, then set aside.
- Cut papaya in halves and carve out the middle. Discard seeds.
- Scoop the cooked quinoa, squash and sweet potato into the middle of the papayas.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top papayas with pomegranate seeds, arugula and sprouts.
- Drizzle with pure maple syrup and season with cinnamon and sea salt.
- Serve immediately.