Monday, April 1, 2013

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Spring really seems to have arrived here in Connecticut! I actually have been able to go outside without a winter coat, and have had to turn on the air conditioner while driving around in my car. I am extremely excited about this development! We have a couple of 40-something degree days this week, but the rest of the 10-day forecast is in the 50's, with a couple of days reaching 60!! I know it's mundane to talk about the weather, but hey, if I'm excited about it, I assume others are too!  Now, this dinner is not spring-like at all, but it is still worth sharing! This is from week 3 of the Whole Living Action Plan (I have one left to share after this before I get back to our regularly scheduled programming).

I love squash! Acorn, butternut, spaghetti, delicata... They are all good to me. This stuffed squash is a really good, hearty way to make squash a main dish. It would be wonderful to have in the fall (or winter, spring or even summer if you want to turn on your oven), and I think it would make a fabulous vegetarian/vegan main dish for Thanksgiving!!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 2

1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/3 cooked white beans
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup kale, chopped
2 Tbsp toasted* hazelnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 tsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, flip squash over, and set aside.
2. While the squash is roasting, heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes, until tender. Add the sage, thyme, beans, quinoa and kale to the onion, and cook about 2 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Stuff each half of the acorn squash with half of the quinoa-bean mixture. Roast about 15-20 minutes, until golden.
4. To serve, top each acorn squash half with 1 Tbsp hazelnuts, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.

Source: Whole Living, January/February 2013

*To toast hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet, and roast for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

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