No jokes needed, this meal was killer!

As we gear up for Autumn, there is one food type that I always look forward to cooking and eating…..squash. There is so many different kinds of squash and tons of great ways to cook with them. They are one of my favorites to use during the cold months. We have been talking about doing something with acorn squash for awhile now. When I went grocery shopping last week Trader Joe’s had some great looking ones so I finally picked them up and Melissa found a great recipe for me to use. I am pretty much a fan of stuffing any type of food so when she presented me with this idea I was def on board. This is a great tasting, filling, and of course vegan recipe taken from the food network.

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Quinoa-Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 medium acorn squash

3 Tbs apple cider vinegar

3 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs pure maple syrup

Salt and pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup quinoa

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400

Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Arrange the halves on a large baking tray flesh side up. (I put parchment paper down first so it does not stick)

Whisk together the vinegar, 2 Tbs oil, and the maple syrup in a cup. Brush the flesh side of the squash halves with some of the mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the squash flesh side down then brush the skin side with the maple mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the squash is fork tender, about 50-60 minutes. Poke the insides of the squash with a fork and brush generously with more of the maple mixture.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbs of oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden brown. Add the quinoa, curry powder, cinnamon, and 1 tsp salt and stir until the spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 20-24 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cranberries, remaining maple mixture, half the parsley and half the pistachios.

Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy

-Chef Drew

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