Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

I love acorn squash. No peeling or chopping; just bake in the oven and serve. Scoop out the seeds and stuff with rice, quinoa, or any other stuffing of your choice. With a side salad (or sushi nori-wrapped greens) you have a complete vegetarian/vegan meal and if you choose to eat meat, then the squash is a great side dish.

They do have significant carbs, so you may want to eat 1/4 instead of 1/2 of the squash. Here is what www.theglobeandmail.com says (excerpted quote from a longer article):

Squash is a vegetable and, in my opinion, it’s a vegetable you shouldn’t declare off limits. …. they contain more carbohydrates than vegetables like leafy greens, cauliflower and bell peppers…..
One-half cup of cooked butternut squash, for example, has 11 grams of carbohydrate and 41 calories while the same sized serving of cooked broccoli has 5.6 grams of carbohydrate and 27 calories…..
Unlike white bread and other refined flour products, winter squash is a good source of potassium and fiber…. What’s more, some types are packed with beta- and alpha-carotene, antioxidants thought to help prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer.

And quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. To read 11 health benefits of quinoa, please go to https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa.

So here is my easy recipe for stuffed squash with the

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa

Utensils: oven pan for squash, stove top pot for quinoa, cutting board and knife, salad spinner or tea towel, serving plates
Prep. Time: for both squash and quinoa – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: Up to one hour, depending on size of squash
Categories: Vegan, Gluten free, No Added Sugar

Ingredients

one medium-sized, organic acorn squash
onion, garlic, ginger
olive or avocado oil
herbs of your choice
1/2 cup organic, whole grain quinoa
veggie soup stock

Directions

  1. Wash squash and place in a 375-degree oven til soft enough to cut, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds (compost), and place in a small pan, face down, with about one-inch soup stock. Bake until the center is soft, maybe another 20 minutes.
  3. While squash finishes baking, prepare quinoa according to package directions. My Belle Solé brand package says 1. Rinse one cup quinoa in a strainer and rinse with water, stirring gently. 2. Place in a cooking pot and add 1 1/2 cups water (or stock-es) and 1/4 tsp. salt, if desired. 3. Cover and bring to a boil, 4. Reduce heat to simmer 10-12 minutes. 5. Remove from stove and allow to sit 5 minutes covered. 6. Fluff with a fork and serve.
    [Note: I made on 1/2 cup of quinoa and still had some left.]
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, add about 1/4 cup of diced onion or scallion, one small, minced garlic clove, and s a small piece of diced ginger. Add herbs to taste. (I used curry powder, but you can also use Za’atar, Italian herbs or just salt & pepper.)
  5. Remove cooked squash when tender, brush a little oil in the cavity and add the cooked quinoa with minced onion, garlic, and ginger. Serve while still hot.Variation: I added cooked and roasted chickpeas for added protein. I soak, sprout, freeze and cook my chickpeas. I will be doing a posting on sprouted beans and grains in April.)

Colorful (Roasted) Carrots

For some time now I have been purchasing organic carrots with multiple colors: purple, white, yellow and orange. I bought them loose with their green stalks so I could use the greens when I make veggie broth and also avoid plastic packaging. The package had two of each colored carrot and I used half the package to test the recipe.

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, brush to scrub the carrots, small oven proof dish to melt coconut oil, pan for steaming/simmering, pan for baking/roasting, & serving platter
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: About 15 minutes on stove and another 10 in the oven
Categories: Vegan (V), Gluten Free (GF), and No Sugar Added (NSA)

Ingredients

4 organic multi-colored carrots (All one color such as basic orange would also work fine.)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
1-2 tablespoons curry powder ( a mixture of Indian spices such as cumin, turmeric, coriander, etc.)
Sunflower micro-greens for garnish (May also use parsley or dill.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place coconut oil in a small oven-proof dish and place in oven for 2-3 minutes to soften.
  2. While oil is in oven, scrub carrots, trim tips, and save greens for soup stock, if you bought carrots with tops.
  3. Remove melted oil from oven, stir in curry powder, and set aside.
  4. Place carrots in a saucepan with water to cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of carrots. Turn once.
  5. Transfer carrots (minus liquid) onto a stainless steel or glass cooking pan (I use a square pan that I also use for corn bread, about 8″X 8″.)
  6. Brush 1 tablespoon oil/ curry powder  mixture on pan and pour the rest over the carrots. Place in the preheated oven, baking about 10 minutes, turning once, then placing oven on broil for one or two minutes. Don’t burn them!
  7. Place roasted carrots on a serving platter and garnish with sunflower micro-greens,  parsley or dill. Serve immediately.Variations: Feel free to use Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, garlic, etc.), Za’atar, or other herb/spice, salt & pepper, or mixture of your choice.
    P.S. I also sprinkled some black sesame seeds on the cafrrots and dish for added color and crunch.
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