Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

We fell in love with this ultra-filling,  vegetarian recipe that stuffs spinach, quinoa, and pecans into acorn squash. The original  recipe is from Simple Cooking with American Heart Associations program.   With family members that are gluten free, I changed a few ingredients to fit our family’s eating lifestyle.

Ingredients

1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup quinoa, couscous, bulgur, barley or faro   (What ever grain you prefer) I have tried it with all of the grains I mentioned above all worked excellent, some just nuttier than others
4 small acorn squash, 1 to 1 1/4 pounds each
1 tsp canola or olive oil
1 cup chopped celery (about 4 stalks) include the celery leaves if possible
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sage
2  cups fresh chopped  spinach or kale
1/4 cup unsalted, chopped pecans, walnuts or what ever nut you prefer
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles ( I used honey goat cheese from Trader Joe’s)
Directions Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 70 min
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat water to a boiling temperature using either a teapot or the microwave. In a bowl or heat-proof container, combine boiling water and quinoa, couscous or any whole grain you prefer. Prepare your grains according to cooking directions. For Couscous Cover and let sit 10 minutes.
Prepare each acorn squash: Cut off around 1-inch of the top of each acorn squash; use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Use a knife to slice a sliver off the bottom of each squash so they stay upright as they cook. Place each acorn squash bottom onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Reserve.
Meanwhile, warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, salt, pepper, and sage, stirring occasionally and sautéing until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in fresh spinach or kale, stirring and cooking until spinach or kale is cooked and heated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved quinoa or couscous etc, remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil, preferred nuts, maple syrup and cheese..
Pack about 1 cup of stuffing into the cavity of each acorn squash. Top each squash with its lid. Bake in the oven until squash is tender, about 60 to 75 minutes. Remove acorn squash lid and enjoy.
Additional Tips     We enjoyed this dish as a side and split 1 acorn squash, these are very filling. As a vegetarian meal one acorn squash would really fill you up. Also if you are not a vegetarian you could add lean sausage crumbles, my husbands idea of course.

Serving size 1 acorn squash

Serves 4
1 hr 30 min
381 Calories
285 mg Sodium
$3.64 Per Serving

Hope To See You Just Around The Bend ♥

American Heart Association

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