January 13, 2016

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Vegetable Stuffing

So, I've had a pretty serious, little, love-affair going on with zucchini and yellow squash for years now and I've even talked about it in a couple of previous posts. Late last year, I expanded my veggie-eating boundaries and tried both the butternut and acorn squash varieties for the first time. I really enjoyed eating them both and they swiftly became regular items on my grocery list.

Nowadays, and above all other types I've tried to the present date, acorn squash has stolen my heart. Not only because of it's sweet, mild flavor and soft texture, but because of it's petite size. Once an acorn squash is cut in half, it's a perfect, compact vehicle for lots of delicious fillings and an ideal serving size for one. If you know me, you know I'm am all about dual purposes!    

Trying quinoa is my first official food adventure for the year 2016. Quinoa is a native, South American grain that can be found everywhere these days. For years now, I've read all about the rich nutrients that quinoa contains and I've heard it referred to as a "superfood". From the information I've personally absorbed (from several random websites, magazines and tv shows) a serving of quinoa offers good doses of fiber, high protein, essential anti-oxidants, magnesium, iron, B vitamins and potassium. 

There are likely more scientific-sounding properties relating to such a "superfood" with corresponding terminology that would lose me in a discussion, but, hey, I don't need to go there. I'm already completely sold on the fact that it's really good for me and since I'm sticking with my healthier diet plan, I was excited to finally give it a try. (and I'm totally prepared for it to work it's healthful magic on my bod!)

As I do with our favorite rice dishes, I cooked the quinoa and other vegetables in chicken broth to add some familiar flavor to such an exotic, new food for my family. It was really delicious and I ate every bite of my half of this little squash and that golden, supergrain and vegetable stuffing. This it's first appearance here on the blog, but it won't be the last. 
 
 
Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Vegetable Stuffing
  • 1 medium-size acorn squash, rinsed, halved and seeded
  • 1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced or diced
  • 4-5 mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used baby bellas, but button mushrooms would work great too)
  • 1/4 quarter of small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper 
  • grated parmesan cheese 
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°. Generously brush the acorn squash halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet, cut side down.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.
2.  While your squash is roasting in the oven, make your quinoa stuffing.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, deep skillet. Add your vegetables and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, quinoa and dried herbs to the pan and give it a good stir.

3. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside to wait for the acorn squash to finish roasting.

 
4. Once your acorn squash is out of the oven, lightly salt and pepper the squash again and then stuff the center cavity with generous helpings of the prepared quinoa stuffing. Top with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for about 20 minutes or until it is warm through. Your Parmesan cheese topping will also take on a lovely, light brown color.  Serve warm and enjoy!


Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Vegetable Stuffing
  • 1 medium-size acorn squash, rinsed, halved and seeded
  • 1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced or diced
  • 4-5 mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used baby bellas, but button mushrooms would work great too)
  • 1/4 quarter of small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper 
  • grated parmesan cheese 
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°. Generously brush the acorn squash halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet, cut side down.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.

2.  While your squash is roasting in the oven, make your quinoa stuffing.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, deep skillet. Add your vegetables and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, quinoa and dried herbs to the pan and give it a good stir.

3. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside to wait for the acorn squash to finish roasting.

4. Once your acorn squash is out of the oven, lightly salt and pepper the squash again and then stuff the center cavity with generous helpings of the prepared quinoa stuffing. Top with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for about 20 minutes or until it is warm through.  Your Parmesan cheese topping will also take on a lovely, brown color.

5. Serve warm and enjoy!





14 comments:

  1. Although we probably use more butternut squash than any other winter squash, acorn is my favorite. Love its shape, and its flavor is superb. Speaking of superb, what a wonderful recipe! Truly good stuff -- thanks.

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    1. Hi John, I've eaten this twice in a week!:) Thank you so much!:)

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  2. Hi Marcelle, this looks so delicious, all my favorites baked together. Love it!

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    1. Hi Cheri, thank you! We really enjoyed it and we felt so healthy :)

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  3. Marcelle - welcome to the world of quinoa! It is wonderful stuff! And thanks for a beautiful, savory recipe. Markipedia hates most winter squashes because people make them too sweet; I think he'd love this version!

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    1. Hi David, I agree about it being wonderful. I love trying new things :) Thank you!!

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  4. As soon as the Halloween was over, all the squashes were gone from the market. I miss all the pumpkins. This looks scrumptious.

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  5. acorn squashes are PERFECT for stuffing! i love the components of your filling--very nutritious and delicious!

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  6. Dear Marcelle, great minds actually do think alike...I just made a stuffed butternut squash today for our Cottage Cooking Club group...your stuffed acorn squash looks fabulous (acorn squash is almost impossible to get around here) and the stuffing with quinoa looks absolutely fabulous!
    Great looking recipe!

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  7. Stuffing these squashes is a great idea because peeling them raw is so difficult. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, yes I think they are perfect for stuffing :) Thank you!

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