Quinoa stuffed acorn squash is a deliciously satisfying meal with all the Fall flavors.
- 3 acorn squash, halved, stems and seeds removed
- 4 cups kale, chopped (about 6 leaves)
- 1 leek (white part sliced)
- 1 honeycrisp apple, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 4 oz log of goat cheese (optional)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup 50% less sugar dried cranberries
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Drizzle the acorn squash with a little bit of olive oil (about 1/4 tsp per squash half), salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub it in, then flip the squash over so it is cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake the acorn squash for 30-50 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. You should be able to easily pierce the squash with a fork when it is done baking. Remove the baking sheet from the oven but leave the oven on.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Replace the water with vegetable broth for enhanced flavor.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium- high heat. Add the celery, yellow onion, leek, and apple. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Start to add the kale in handfuls, adding more as it begins to cook down. Stir in ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp of cinnamon. Let it sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring every so often. Turn off the heat when the apple can be pierced by a fork, but still has a solid texture.
- Meanwhile, combine 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp of maple syrup in a small bow. Whisk together until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked quinoa, sautéed apple and veggies, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, and the maple-balsamic dressing. Gently toss together until the ingredients are combined. Taste the quinoa stuffing and add salt and black pepper if needed.
- At this point the acorn squash should be out of the oven. Flip over the squash so the cut side is facing up. Scoop about ½ cup of the quinoa mixture into the hollow of each squash. Add approximately 1 tbsp of crumbled goat cheese on top of each squash (optional). Put the squash back in the in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before digging in. Enjoy!
- Prepare your produce first! Try to wash, chop and measure out most of the ingredients before you start cooking, that way you aren’t scrambling to get it done in the mist of cooking.
- Try to buy squash that is the same size so it cooks evenly.
- Serving Size: 1/2 Acorn Sqush