Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is upon us, and so our seasonal produce begins to change. Local corn, tomatoes, and peaches are quickly replaced with local apples, mushrooms, and squash. Autumn produce offers a range of earthy flavors and varying textures to satisfy the most discerning palate. Tonight I took advantage of the beautiful acorn squash I came across at a farmers market earlier today. Rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, fiber, manganese, B6, potassium, and vitamin K; acorn squash has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Even more exciting is this vegan friendly recipe is power packed with protein! Each squash if stuffed with quinoa, a complete protein grain that dates back thousands of years. 1 cup of quinoa has about 8g of protein...that's more protein than 1 egg and about as much protein as a cup of milk. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

3 Acorn Squash
1/2 lb Baby Portobello Mushrooms (Roughly Chopped)
1 Small Yellow Onion (Diced)
Pinch of Thyme
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth (Or No Sodium if Desired)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Optional: Parmesan Cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp to form a bowl. I also cut a little off the back side so the squash would sit upright and not tip over. Place the squash in a baking dish with the "bowl" facing downward. Fill the baking dish with about 1 inch of water and place in the oven. Cook 30-40 minutes or until tender.

In a sauté pan or medium size saucepan heat olive oil. Add the onions and mushrooms, then sprinkle with thyme and ground pepper. Stir frequently and sauté about 6-8 minutes or until mushrooms become tender. Add the quinoa and broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Keep covered and cook about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove the finished squash from the oven and carefully scoop the quinoa mixture into each squash bowl. If desired top with cheese and pop back into the oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve to your guests and enjoy! This recipe serves 6.

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