Active time: 10 minutes Total time: 1 hour
The buttery, corn-like flavor of acorn squash marries well with maple syrup and of quinoa in this autumnal showstopper. It makes a great vegetarian main dish or a colorful side dish on your holiday table. To control portion sizes, slice the squash crosswise into smaller sections.
Acorn Squash With Cranberry, Quinoa and Goat Cheese Stuffing
- 2 (1 1/2-pound/680g) acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup (40g) dry quinoa, rinsed and well-drained
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup (57g) toasted pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup (30g) dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 ounces (57g) plain goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the squash in half crosswise, trimming off the stem and base of the pointed end so they sit upright. Scoop out seeds and discard. Place the squash halves cut side up in a 9-by-13-inch (23cm-by-33cm) baking dish. Drizzle the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the maple syrup. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cover baking dish and bake until squash are tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.
While the squash halves are baking, make the filling. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa and cook until toasty smelling, 1 minute. Remove from heat, add 1 cup cold water, garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the grains have expanded and the water has been absorbed, about 12 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, remove from heat, and let stand, covered for 10 minutes to finish cooking.
Stir the pecans, parsley and vinegar into the quinoa. Pour the maple syrup and oil pooled in the cavities of the squash into the quinoa mixture as well and stir to combine. Stuff quinoa mixture into the cavities of the squash, sprinkle with goat cheese and serve warm or at room temperature
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1/2 squash, 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon stuffing (125g)
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 417; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 648mg; Carbohydrate: 68g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar:12g; Protein: 11g