Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
A holiday-worthy side dish that can also serve as a vegetarian entree. Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4 as a entree.
- 2 Acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 T Butter (replace with non-dairy margarine for vegan)
- salt and pepper.
- 2 T Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced.
- 3/4 cup Quinoa, soaked and rinsed according to package directions
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or 1 cup water + 1 Vegetable boullion cube)
- 2 t. whole grain mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 T Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries or sour cherries
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- Place the squash halves cut side down in a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 min. or until barely tender but not soft. Turn cut side up, brush with melted butter, season lightly with salt and pepper.
- While the squash are baking, in a 1 - 2 qt. saucepan, saute the onions in the oil until soft.
- Add the garlic and stir briefly, only until heated through -- do NOT let the garlic brown.
- Stir in the broth and mustard, add the bay leaf, then stir in the rinsed quinoa
- Bring just to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat, cover the pan and cook at a simmer for 30 to 35 min.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit covered for at least 5 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium frying pan saute the celery in the oil until brightly colored and tender-crisp. Remove from the heat, add the spinach and toss to wilt it. Stir in the fruit and nuts.
- Fluff the quinoa, add it to the spinach mixture and toss to combine.
- Fill the squash cavity with the quinoa mixture, mounding to cover the top.
- Bake in a 350 oven approx 20 min, until the squash is fully tender and the stuffing mixture is heated through.
- A sprinkle of chopped parsley and/or grated parmesan cheese can be added before serving, if desired.
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