This was fun to make and super good! Plus don’t they look like little hearts! This is such a romantic and heart healthy meal!
I used regular quinoa because I could not find organic red quinoa (and I had regular quinoa in the house ), but I am sure this came out just as Delicious! You could always substitute the butter for oil to make this vegan and I doubt it would change a thing as the butter is just used to sauté the veggies. I did not have currants so I put more cranberries and apricots in then the recipe called for. You will also have some of the quinoa left over, but it makes a great leftover side dish.
Baked Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Stuffing
Recipe adapted from The Flexitarian Table.
2 cups quinoa
4 tablespoons Earth Balance or olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
sea salt or Kosher salt
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped the size of raisins
1/4 cup dried currants
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
4 medium Delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Adjust a rack to the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Simmer the quinoa in 4 cups of water until fluffy, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the quinoa cooks, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, ginger, and sage.
- Cover the pan and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes (add a tablespoon of water, if necessary, to prevent scorching.)
- In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa and vegetables. Stir in the dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, and cinnamon, season with salt and pepper.
- Brush the skin of the squash lightly with oil. Place the squash, cut side down, in a baking pan large enough to hold them in a snug single layer.
- Pour 1/2-inch of boiling water into the pan and bake for 20 minutes (you want the squash to have softened slightly, but not completely). Transfer the squash to a plate and let rest until cool enough to handle.
- Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa mixture, return them, stuffing-up, to the pan, and bake until the flesh can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 20 to 30 minutes more.