Straight from the cookbook of Chef K himself, here is what he has to say about his amazing autumn dish: Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Stuffed Acorn Squash
“Acorn squash is my favorite Autumn vegetable,” says Chef K. “Not only is it delicious, but it is a healthy and versatile vegetable as well. By adding quinoa to this recipe, you also get a dose of protein to help keep you full. It’s perfect for vegetarians and anyone who is looking to eat healthier this time of year.”
Amount per serving, serves 8
• 4 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise with the seeds removed
• 3 cups of water
• 2 cups quinoa
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 ½ cups diced onion
• 1/2 cup diced carrots
• 1/2 cup diced celery
• 1 tablespoon minced cardamom
• 1/8 tablespoon of turmeric
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/3 cup diced apples
• 1/4 cup dried currants
• 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust rack to the middle shelf.
2. Simmer the quinoa in 3 cups of water to make fluffy, this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
3. While the quinoa cooks, add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, cardamom and turmeric.
4. Using fresh apples, cut into small dices and soak with lemon juice.
5. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables for 5 minutes until they are tender.
6. In a big bowl, toss together the quinoa and vegetables. Stir in the dried fruit, diced apples, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
7. Brush the skin of the squash lightly with olive oil. Place the squash, cut side down, in a baking pan.
8. Pour 1/2-inch of boiling water into the pan and bake for 20 minutes to soften the squash. Move the squash to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle.
9. Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa mix, return them, stuffing-up to the pan, and bake until the flesh can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife. This should take 30 minutes or less.