About the Recipe
When I was in my 20s I had decided that I wanted to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my cooking routine. Stuffed squash quickly became one of my favorite dishes. You can just about stuff it with anything you like. You can use other types of squash but I especially love the sweet nutty flavor of acorn squash. I have also made this recipe with rice instead of quinoa and with other roasted veggies too. However, I find the texture of the quinoa and flavor of the sautéed mushrooms pairs so well with the smooth sweet flavor of the squash that this particular recipe is one of my favorites.
I don't generally use a lot of spices in my cooking and especially with this one, I simply don't think it needs it. So this recipe is pretty uncomplicated in that respect. A bit of salt and pepper and the other ingredients speak for themselves.
I also really love the two varied pops of flavor and texture that the hint of maple butter and the pistachios both give to this dish. (Now, before anyone gets on me with any lectures on adding a bit of butter and natural sweetener to a healthy meal, you can also leave it out if you prefer. The recipe doesn't need it. But it sure is good). The maple butter is amazing with the sweetness of the squash and the pistachios add that touch of salty crunch to balance it all out.
All in all, these simple ingredients are easy to prepare and make a healthy meal that is exciting in both texture and taste. It has all the smooth and crunchy, sweet and salty that you would want. I cannot wait for you to try it!
1 Acorn Squash
1 cup Quinoa
4 Porteenie Mushrooms (sliced)
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1-2 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Salted Pistachios (shelled and chopped)
1 Scallion (finely sliced)
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 425F.
Cut open the acorn squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle each cut half with a bit of olive oil. (I like to use my hands to be sure to get it all covered). Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Put the squash (cut side down) on a lined sheet pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, give the quinoa a good rinse, put in a small pot with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through. Fluff with a fork. (You can tell when the Quinoa is cooked when the center is more translucent).
Meanwhile, drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pan and heat on medium. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add in the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms are start to brown 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked quinoa to the pan of sautéed mushrooms and give it a good toss.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will be the stuffing for your squash. Time to prep the maple butter drizzle.
In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter (roughly 20-30 seconds). To the melted butter, stir in the maple syrup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the squash is finished cooking, remove it from the oven. (I always give the backside a little poke to make sure it is cooked through. If it is, it will push in, if it still feels firm, keep roasting it for a few more minutes).
Flip the squash over and fill the center cavity with your quinoa mushroom filling.
Garnish with some chopped pistachios and sliced scallions. Drizzle with the maple butter.
Dig in and enjoy!