I could go on and on waxing poetic about Autumn. It’s my favorite season… curling up by a toasty fire, taking an evening stroll in the crisp outdoor air, sipping spiced hot drinks, and enjoying the season’s most festive foods like pumpkins, apples, and squash!
I had a perfect opportunity to pick up some squash at the Harvest Festival last weekend but you can find it at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. I have made different variations of stuffed acorn squash before but this is my favorite. The savory quinoa stuffing plays off the slightly sweet and nutty flavor of the acorn squash creating a delicious and healthy meal that presents beautifully.
- 1 large acorn squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 package organic tempeh or 1/2 cup chick peas or white beans
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as sage or thyme
- 1/3 cup raisins, cranberries or chopped dried apricots
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
- A few splashes of tamari
- A sprinkle of cayenne
- A sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400ºF. Cut your acorn squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly oiled baking dish and place into the oven.
While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing. Cook the quinoa. Then add onions, mushrooms, garlic and tempeh or beans to a pan with a bit of olive oil, a few splashes of tamari, and a sprinkle of cayenne. Cook until onions are translucent & the remaining ingredients start to brown.
Add the cooked quinoa to the onion mixture in the pan and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and put into a large bowl. Add dried fruit, herbs and nuts to the quinoa mixture and stir well.
After 45 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and spoon the stuffing mixture into the acorn squash halves. You should have enough leftover stuffing to be enjoyed on its own the next day. Cook another 15 minutes or so with the stuffing inside until the squash is very soft and golden brown around the edges. Top with fresh herbs and enjoy!