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....



Anonymous 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.