Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash


*Recipe and Photo Credit to wearenotmartha.com

Remember how much I love Bountiful Baskets? Well, I kind of got tired of them for a while. Not that I am opposed to fresh fruits and veggies at a discount, it's more like I really wanted to be able to choose my food for a while. I do love the bread though so I've been ordering a basket about once a month and add 40 loaves of bread to my freezer (I think the BB people call me the "bread lady"). Anyway, BB totally bit me in the behind last week. I had gone shopping in the week and bought acorn squash, potatoes, and spinach and then when I picked up my basket...you guessed it MORE acorn squash, MORE potatoes, and MORE spinach. It's like they are mind readers. Anywho, I needed some new ideas for how to prepare acorn squash, since I am now the proud owner of about eight of them.

I simply googled "stuffed acorn squash" and found a recipe that looked good, prepared it, and it knocked my socks off! It was a perfect meal and I felt super healthy eating it, in fact, I feel inspired to create a "healthy" category for the sidebar there, just for this post (lookin' at you Ang).

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash
• 1 T butter
• 1 C quinoa
• 2 C chicken/veggie stock or broth (reduced sodium)
• 1 T extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 habanero peppers, chopped finely (remove seeds for less heat)
• 1/2 C mushrooms, chopped
• 2 C spinach, uncooked
• 1/2 feta, crumbled
• 1 T parsley, chopped
• 1 T fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375dgs, slice acorn squash in half.

Once sliced (albeit perhaps unevenly), scoop out all the seedsSprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper and put 1/2 T butter in each squash half.

Place on a baking tray and roast at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Make sure squash is tender to the fork upon removal (otherwise, stick it back in the oven for a few more minutes)In the meantime, start cooking your quinoa, according to directions. You can use water, but I find chicken stock/broth to be a bit more flavorful. I generally try to get low-sodium, so I can control levels of salt. And, of course, use vegetable broth if you want to keep this dish vegetarian-friendlyWhile the quinoa is cooking and the squash is roasting, pour your extra virgin olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms, onion, garlic, and habaneros until they’re slightly browned, about 7-10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and squeeze lemon juice over.Now, turn heat to low and add the cooked quinoa to the veggie mixture. Throw in 2 cups of spinach and stir to combine and wilt spinach a bit.

Add in feta cheese and parsley here, as well. Save a little of each for topping, if you want.

Your acorn squash should be looking beautiful by now.
Spoon quinoa mixture into acorn squash halves and top with a little extra feta. And parsley too, if you desire.

Absolutely delicious! And completely vegetarian! I doubled the recipe and was very glad that I did and I served it with this salad, which I dumped bacon bits on (the real kind from Costco), obliterating the vegetarianness of the meal : ) Also, I didn't have habenero peppers but I did have some jalepeno slices (the kind you put on nachos) and chopped a couple of those to put in and what I learned was you definitely want something to give the dish some heat and the jalepeno slices worked great, just work with what you've got. Also, I hope you know that whenever a recipe calls for fresh squeezed lemon juice I squeeze it fresh from the bottle. Now if it calls for zest, that's another story....

Enjoy!

2 comments:

Angela said...

That looks good! And seeing my name in the post made me feel almost... Famous. :)

Karina said...

You can add my name to that list. Love this one too.