Now that I’m off for a few weeks (one of the perks of being a teacher) I will be able to catch up on some of my recipe posts, and maybe a few other special ones as well. 🙂 For now I hope you’ll be satisfied with this great vegetarian alternative to serve instead of turkey for Christmas dinner.
It’s hearty, elegant and full of nutrition and most importantly: flavour. People often mistake vegetarian food for not being filling enough or lacking flavour, but I assure you this dish will satisfy even the most dedicated carnivore. At the very least it’ll make a pretty kick-ass side dish.
Acorn squash is a winter squash that is packed with vitamin A (as evidenced by that beautiful orange colour) and the antioxidant beta-carotene which helps support eye health. It also contains notable amounts of folate and B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. It contains soluble fibre which is fantastic for regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
I made this a few months ago in the fall, when squashes were abundant in our grocery stores. I kind of went a little squash crazy if you follow my blog, as I made some recipes with delicata squash here and here, pumpkin spice donut holes, and a butternut squash soup that I have yet to post. Come to think of it there are a few pumpkin ones as well. So stay tuned!
Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Kale Stuffing (adapted from Love and Lemons)
- 1 small acorn squash, cut in half and seeded
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (I love this brand by Acropolis)
- 1 large organic shallot, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup organic lacinato kale, chopped
- good balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 2-3 organic onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup organic goats feta cheese, crumbled (omit this to make it vegan)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- pinch of chili flakes
- honey for drizzling
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat cut acorn squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on parchment paper and roast for about 25 minutes then turn them over to roast for about 10-15 minutes further until fork tender.
- In the meantime, over medium-low heat, saute the shallot, garlic, cumin and cinnamon in olive oil until translucent. Add kale and saute until the kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add a splash of balsamic vinegar, mix in the quinoa and the honey to taste.
- Mix the green onions, cranberries, cilantro, feta and pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Fill each half (or quarter if it’s a large acorn squash) with quinoa mixture and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, more goat feta, cilantro or honey as desired.
TIP: The stuffing by itself makes a great side dish as well. So feel free to serve it without the acorn squash if you can’t find any.