Stuffed acorn squash with quinoa, kale and cranberries

I love this recipe! I make it in a healthy cooking class for cancer patients and they’ve stated they appreciate this new way to use squash. This would be nice served at Thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 acorn squash
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes.

Filling:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp finely diced shallot
  • 3 tbsp finely diced fennel
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 6 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or kale, in bite-size pieces
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Methods:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the tops off the squash and scoop out the strings and seeds. Also cut the pointy ends off the bottoms of the squash so they’ll stand up once they’re stuffed.
  3. Stir the olive oil, salt, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl. Use a brush to spread the spice mixture over the inside of the squash.
  4. Place the squash, top side down, on the prepared pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender. Check after 20 minutes by touching the top of a squash with your finger. If it’s soft, transfer the squash from the oven and cover with foil until you’re ready to fill them.
  5. Meanwhile make the filling. Put the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under running cold water.
  6. Heat the 2 tsps of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and fennel and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin and coriander, and then stir in the quinoa. Stir in the broth and ¼ tsp of the salt, cover, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Remove from the heat, and fluff with a fork.
  7. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and cranberries. Stir for 10 seconds, then add the kale and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes for kale, or 3 minutes for chard. Remove from the heat and stir in a squeeze of the lemon juice.
  8. To assemble the dish, spoon the quinoa mixture into the squash, and then top each squash with a scoop of the greens.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

Calories: 250
Total fat:8 g (1 g, saturated, 3.3 gmonounsaturated)
Carbohydrate: 45 g
Protein: 8 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 325 mg.

Recipe Source: adapted from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen

Written by Nicole Osinga, RD, MAN, BASc

I'm a Registered Dietitian who works with clients in the Durham Region! I use evidence-based recommendations to help you achieve your nutrition goals. I have many hearty and delicious recipes to share! My office is in Courtice, ON. I regularly work with clients from Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Newcastle, Bowmanville and Courtice.

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