Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

There I was in Whole Foods when I spied this mound of beautiful white Acorn Squash.  Enthusiastically, I bought two.  The first one I just baked with a little maple syrup and served as a side dish.  But last night I wanted to make the second one the star of dinner, and rather than do a bread crumb/celery/nut stuffing, I decided to play with a Quinoa stuffing.  The result was delicious!

Quinoa isn’t the first grain that comes to mind when I am preparing dinner.  But every time I do remember to make it, I enjoy it’s crunchy, nutty flavor.  It’s particularly excellent in a vegetarian meal since it is a relatively complete protein source.  I’m always looking for interesting ways to use it.

INGREDIENTS

1 acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
Olive oil
2/3 cup of water
1/2 tsp salt (I use sea salt, kosher salt is good too)
1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup whatever nuts you have on hand (I used pecans), chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 TBS dried fruits (I prefer dried cherries or cranberries, but you can also use apricots, raisins, even a mix of dried fruits), chopped if the pieces are large
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 TBS maple syrup

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Rub squash with olive oil on both cut side and skin.  Place skin side down in a glass baking dish. Bake for approximately an hour.
  • Combine water, salt and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Reduce temperature and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.
  • Toast nuts in a saute pan for a few minutes (don’t let them burn).  Remove and set aside.
  • Add about 1 TBS of olive oil in the same pan.  Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent.
  • Add dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and cumin. Stir.
  • Add the cooked quinoa.  Stir and taste to adjust seasonings.
  • Remove acorn squash from the oven and fill with the quinoa mixture. Drizzle with maple syrup.
  • Return to the oven for about 10 minutes.

I served this with a baby greens salad with chopped pears, pignoli nuts and goat cheese, and a raspberry vinaigrette.

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One response to “Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

  1. Wow! This sounds fabulous, two of my very favorite foods are the stars! I am excited to make this! I can’t wait!

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