Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Yield: 4 servings

2 medium acorn squash 
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
1 cup red quinoa
1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey) (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Arrange the halves on a baking tray, flesh-side up.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the maple syrup. Leaving 1-2 tablespoons for later, divide the remaining mixture between the four squash halves and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
4. Put the squash flesh-side down in the baking dish. Roast until the squash is fork-tender, 40 to 50 minutes. 
5. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
6. In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. If using, add the meat and cook through. Remove from pan and set aside.
7. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and stir until the spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
8. Stir in the cranberries, parsley, pistachios, remaining maple mixture, and cooked meat if using.
9. Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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