Squash rocks. It is super healthy, deliciously filling, and easy to cook. I've been intrigued by different kinds of squashes since I began reading about the various kinds available during the fall. Sprouts had all their squash on sale a few weeks ago, so I picked up an acorn squash and started working on something tasty for dinner on a chilly fall night.
Enter Mollie Katzen's Get Cooking. I won this cookbook in a Kashi giveaway last year (it was one of those things where you enter and forget about it until the package shows up on your doorstep). Needless to say, it's been a great resource and is packed full of easy and simple recipes to help you sharpen (pun intended, har har) your culinary skills.
Let's get started, shall we?
Pick a lovely squash for your meal. Isn't it purty? :)
Get a big, sharp knife. You'll need it to halve your squash down the middle. Use force if necessary.
With a big spoon, scoop out all the pulp and seeds. Be patient - it takes a while! When you're done, bake it for 35-40 minutes until the flesh has softened.
Meanwhile, get your quinoa going. I subbed quinoa for rice in this recipe because I hadn't cooked any in a while, and I thought the nutty texture of the quinoa would pair well with the sweet and nutty flavor of the squash. I was right :)
In your saucepan, sauté some onions.
Add in your chopped nuts to toast them a bit and bring out the flavors of the natural oils. Yum!
Please try not to burn your onions like I did. Oops.
Once your quinoa is finished cooking (about 20 minutes), it will be nice and fluffy like this. Sample a bit just to make sure :)
For the topping on your quinoa, toast the leftover squash seeds in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees with olive oil, S&P, and cumin. Make sure to stir them halfway through so they don't burn.
...and add a splash of this to bring out the lovely fall flavors and give it a little extra kick. I probably used 2-3 tablespoons. Don't be shy!
Here's what your squash will look like after roasting. Yum yum!
Fill each squash half with your quinoa mixture, and top with some toasted squash seeds.
Doesn't that look good? :)
Cranberry Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash - serves 2
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Get Cooking
- 8 oz. quinoa
- 3/4 cup water (or however much you need to cook your quinoa)
- 3/4 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1/2 tsp. butter
- 2-3 green onions, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/8 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 medium apple, chopped
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries
- Apple cider vinegar to taste
- Cook your quinoa according to package directions, and set aside.
- Adjust your oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking tray with foil, and pour half the olive oil on it. Using your fingers, distribute the oil so it coats the area where you'll put the squash.
- Place the squash, cut side down, on the olive oil. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until flesh is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the butter and swirl until it melts into the oil.
- Add onion, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until it becomes very soft.
- Add the walnuts and cook with the onions, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes (they will begin to toast and give off an aroma).
- Stir in the garlic and salt, and cook for a few minutes longer. Remove pan from heat.
- Check on your quinoa and add a splash of apple cider vinegar to taste, if you like.
- Transfer quinoa to a medium mixing bowl. Add the onion-walnut mixture and toss until combined. Add the apples and cranberries and toss until combined.
- Turn the squash halves over so their cavities are facing up. Divide the quinoa mixture among the squash, using a spoon to fill the cavities and pack down the mixture. (You'll have plenty of quinoa left over!)
- Sprinkle the squash with the toasted seeds, and serve.