If you haven’t noticed yet, I love fall vegetables, especially squash! From soups to stews and side dishes, squash is SO versatile! I’ve recently come across so many recipes using acorn squash and so I decided to make a delicious meatless monday meal using this nutrient rich veggie. To make it even more nutritious, I decided to stuff it with protein rich red quinoa and fresh herbs! Served alongside a mixed green salad, this is one heck of a meatless meal for you and your family to enjoy! But first, let’s look at the nutrients packed into this delicious vegetable…….
One serving or one cup of acorn squash contains 145% of the daily recommended requirements for Vitamin A. It also contains high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and folic acid. Acorn squash is also a great source of fibre! Great for keeping those bowels happy and healthy 🙂 The beautiful orangey-yellow colour of acorn squash also indicates its high in beta-carotene, which helps fight free radicals in the body and contributes to reducing heart disease and colon cancer.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa and Fresh Herbs
- 2 large acorn squash (serves 4 people)
- 1½ cups quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
- 2 medium leeks, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh thyme, removed from stem
- ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp hemp seeds
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tsp sucanat (or organic brown sugar)
- Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil over the cut side, and season with salt, fresh ground pepper and sprinkle with sucanat. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet, and roast for about 25 to 35 minutes, until slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork.
- Make the quinoa: Bring 2¼ cups water to a boil, add qunioa and cook for approx. 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Prepare the fresh ingredients while quinoa cooks. Chop off the dark green stems of the leeks, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin slices. There will be dirt in between each layer of the leeks, so when you’ve finished chopping them, rinse thoroughly in a colander.
- In a skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Add the leeks, and saute about 4 minutes, just before they begin to brown. While you saute the leeks, toast the walnuts – place them in a small skillet and toast over low heat, until slightly browned. (Make sure to watch so they don’t burn!)
- When the quinoa is done, stir in the sauteed leeks. Then add the fresh sage, thyme, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Taste, and add more salt or pepper to taste, as well as a drizzle of olive oil and/or coconut oil if desired.
- When the squash are done, spoon quinoa generously into each half. Top with walnuts and hemp seeds and serve immediately. ENJOY!
** Feel free to use any fresh herbs you have on hand. Also, chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds or pecans would work well too! Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment using different herbs or seasonings.
Happy Meatless Monday!
Health & Abundance,