Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Adapted via HealthyCrush
Serves: 4

♦ 2 large acorn squash
♦ olive oil
♦ Sea salt & pepper to taste
♦ 1 cup quinoa
♦ 1 cup red lentils
♦ 1 cup baby spinach
♦ 1/3 cup golden raisins
♦ 1/2 yellow onion, diced
♦ 1/2 cup shredded carrots
♦ 3 cloves garlic, chopped
♦ 3 tbsp fresh thyme
♦ A sprinkle of cayenne
♦ 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut your acorn squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the two squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly oiled baking dish and pop into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

While squash is baking, set 2 pots (each containing 2 cups of water + a dash of salt) over medium heat on the stove – place the quinoa into one pot, and the red lentils in the other. Bring both pots to a boil, and lower each to a simmer. Cook the quinoa for 10 minutes, or until fluffy and the water has evaporate, and the red lentils for roughly 10 to 15 minutes (until al dente). Remove from the heat, and combine in a large bowl; cover and set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy saute pan. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic to the pan – cook until the onion is translucent. Add the thyme and a sprinkling of cayenne. Cook until onions are translucent, and the mixture is aromatic. Add cooked quinoa to onion mixture in pan and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and put into a large bowl. Fold in the raisins, spinach, and seeds – cover with foil to trap in the heat; allow to sit for at least 5 minutes (so the spinach and raisins can soften slightly).

After 45 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and stuff with the stuffing. Cook another 15 minutes with stuffing inside. Once the squash turns a dark golden brown, it’s ready to eat. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days (can be rewarmed in a 300 degree oven).

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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