I am currently the lucky recipient of a winter Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and this week received a beautiful acorn squash in my batch of local goodies (along with some mushrooms and green onions). Acorn squash has a mellow flavor and yet meaty and satisfying texture. It is considered a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C which is perfect for boosting immunity during cold season. Without vitamin C in adequate quantities, out body’s best defense against disease (our immune system) is left without fuel.
I wanted to do something special with the squash. Something that was filling and warming during this cold February we are having. So, I stuffed it with protein-filled quinoa, dried fruit, nuts and hearty veggies. The flavor combination of savory from the garlic and shallot and also sweet from the maple syrup, dried cranberries and pecans works well with the mellow acorn squash.
This dish is naturally gluten-free and vegan. My non-vegan husband raved about this recipe and filled up on just the half I served.Print
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
- 1 medium sized shallot, minced
- 1/2 medium sized bell pepper (any color)
- 6 mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- pinch of fine grain sea salt
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked (see my post on How to Make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 green onions, diced
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut the acorn squash in half vertically (down the stem) and remove all seeds. Place each half, cut-side down, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Puncture a few holes in the skin of each squash. Bake in oven for 40 minutes until squash is tender.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the quinoa stuffing. In a large pan, saute shallot, bell pepper, mushroom and peas in oil and a pinch of salt on medium heat until shallots are translucent and bell pepper is tender (5-10 minutes). Add cooked quinoa, cranberries, green onions, pecans, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for another minute stirring all ingredients together.
- Remove squash from oven. Place 1/2 cup of the quinoa mixture into the bowl of the squash. Serve immediately. Note: You will have some extra quinoa which you can enjoy on the side or as leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Vegan