Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Like the rest of New England, I can’t get enough of these fall flavors. Each week I make a point to pick something different up at the market. So far I’ve baked up some butternut squash, spaghetti squash and now I’m onto acorn squash.

Acorn squash is a great, low-calorie source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and dietary fiber. It will fill you up without weighing you down. Quinoa is also a great source of fiber and a fabulous alternative to pasta, rice and your other typically carbohydrates. Check out it’s nutritional value, here.

Below is a recipe for quinoa-stuffed acorn squash, but the recipe packs a lot more than those two ingredients. Follow my lead or pick up your favorite sausage and veggies to sub in.

Quinoa-stuffed acorn squash

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

1 acorn squash, sliced in half with seeds removed

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup water for cooking quinoa, plus more for cooking squash

1 cup kale or spinach, chopped

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup red bell pepper, green pepper and yellow/orange pepper medly, diced

2 cooked chicken sausage links

1 tsp Italian spices

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Get a large baking dish out, and add water to the bottom of it until the water is about ¼” tall. Place the squash cut-side-down into the dish and poke a couple of holes into the rinds with a fork.SONY DSC
  2. Bake for 30 minutes and prep the filling while the squash is baking.SONY DSC
  3. Cook the quinoa. In a pot, bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and stir frequently until the water is absorbed. Set aside.
  4. In a wok or skillet, saute the onion and garlic in 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken sausage to get a nice sear. Finally, add the kale and cook until it wilts.
  5. Stir the quinoa into the veggie/sausage mix.SONY DSC
  6. Once the squash is done: Drain the squash baking dish and flip the squash halves to face up. From here, you have a couple of options: a.) Put the quinoa right in the squash. Or, b.) Take a fork and loosen the squash from the rind and add it to the quinoa/veggie mixture, then re-stuff the rind.

I had tons of extra filling since my squash was tiny — enough for lunch the next day. Let me know if you decide to make it and what changes you make to the recipe!Stay healthy, stay happy, enjoy the Fall squash selection!

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