Fall, in Houston, can be a peculiar thing. It seems to be a bit delayed down here. Pumpkins, turkeys, and cornucopias start to decorate peoples houses, but you walk outside and it still feels like summer. Then the moment happens, when we get a cold front and we finally get relief from the hot, Houston weather. That’s when I really start to get in the spirit! It may only last for a day or two but it’s enough to make me crave my favorite fall foods! This week, I was inspired to make quinoa-stuffed acorn squash. There are so many veggies in here, and I even hid some mushrooms in here…from myself (I don’t like mushrooms). It turned out so flavorful and delicious!
Tip: Cooking the quinoa in veggie stock results in a more flavorful result. Also, if you don’t have nutritional yeast and like cheese, you can substitute Parmesan cheese instead. And Finally, veggies tend to need some help from salt, so make sure you taste as you go and add a little at a time.
Serves 4 Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
For the squash
1 Tbs Coconut Oil
1 Tbs maple syrup
2 acorn squashes
salt to taste
For the Quinoa stuffing
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup veggie stock or water
1 small white onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled
1 celery stick
4 button mushrooms
6 swiss chard stalks ( about 4-6 cups)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Start by preparing the squash. Cut the top and the tip off about half an inch. This will help the squash sit flat on the plate.
- Cut the squash in half horizontally.
- Scoop out the seeds (drizzle with salt and pepper, spread on a sheet pan and roast 15 mins)
- Mix coconut oil and maple syrup together. You may need to microwave the oil if its solid.
- Brush oil and maple syrup mixture on the squash halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place squash halves facing up, in a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with 1/2 of water in it. Then cover the baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Now, prepare the quinoa. Rinse quinoa under cold water, then place in a saucepan with veggie stock or water. Quinoa is typically cooked at a two to one ratio but follow the packaging instructions.
- Cover and let simmer on medium low of 15 mins or recommend time from the packaging.
- Clean the carrot, celery, mushroom and onion, roughly chop and place in food processor
- Clean the swiss chard, remove the leaves from the stalk, roughly chop the leaves and place them in a bowl. These will be cooked at the end.
- Roughly chop the swiss chard stalks and place the into a food proccessor
- Pulse, to chop, until minced. you want the veggies to be about the same size as the quinoa.
- In a frying pan, heat 2 Tbs olive oil and heat on medium. Pour veggies from the food processor into the frying pan and let cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. (Taste the veggies, they may need more salt than you think)
- When veggies are tender, add in swiss chard leaves, and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Add cooked quinoa and stir until combined
- Add nutritional yeast, stir until combined. Taste for seasoning
- Plate the squash, then add a generous amount of stuffing.
- Top with pumpkin seeds and serve on the side of mashed sweet potatoes.