Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

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During spring and summer, I always miss cool weather foods like squash. And yet, when they are actually in season, I often forget to use them or draw a blank on how to cook them. But I think I finally found the squash recipe. Easy, filling, and so delicious.

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All of the flavors in this dish compliment each other so nicely. The sweetness of the carrot and apple, the bitterness of the quinoa, the richness and tartness of the vinegar. And the acorn squash, with it’s subtle sweetness and creamy texture pulls it all together.

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Dominik in particular loved this dish, although I think that it was because of the apple. He is very serious about his love for fruit. He is very attached to his beloved “bapples”.

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Stuffed squash is also such a beautiful meal. It looks like it would be perfect to make for special guests or a date night.

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When choosing an acorn squash, remember to pick ones that are heavy and deep in color. The orange spot means that they have been sitting and getting more ripe and more sweet. Maybe with this recipe on the menu, I won’t forget to make squash while they are actually in season.

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Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium acorn squash
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/2 apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage
  • 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and maple syrup and put cut side down in a baking dish. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the squash is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. In another pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, apple and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sage and continue to cook until the carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the vegetables in the quinoa and add half of the balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
  5. Add large spoonfuls of the quinoa mixture to the inside cups of the acorn squash, pressing down firmly. Drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar and serve.

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