Fall is upon us, and that means the season of soups, stews, and you guessed it SQUASH! This amazing and easy recipe was given to me by the food genius known as #ChefRiana. This was my first time executing this recipe and it was a no-brainer so you should be able to follow along smoothly – the toughest part is definitely cutting the acorn squash in half (make sure you use a sharp knife). When shopping for your squash avoid squash that feel light, have blemishes, mold or soft spots.
You will need:
Herbs/Spices (Thyme, Sage, Oregano, paprika)
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup Quinoa
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
Sturdy Metal Spoon
Sharp Paring Knife
Preheat oven to 400F (205C)
CUT THE ACORN SQUASH IN HALF. Scoop out the seeds with spoon (I save mine) and use paring knife to score the inside in a checkered pattern, about a half-inch deep.
Place squash halves cut side up in baking pan. Add 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of your baking pan so the squash doesn’t burn or get dried out in the oven. Rub half teaspoon of olive oil into the insides of each and sprinkle teaspoon of herbs (I used thyme, oregano & sage), and drizzle with a teaspoon of maple syrup.Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Squash should be nicely browned, and squash flesh should be very soft and cooked through. You will lightly salt the squash once they are finished baking.
While the squash is baking prepare your quinoa. Put 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of cold water in a pan on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add a teaspoon of paprika, and a teaspoon of oregano. You are going to make a pilaf with the quinoa. You will add olive oil afterwards so the oil doesn’t cook twice and lose nutrients, flavor and texture.
Dice 2 carrots and throw them into the pot with the quinoa about 5 minutes before the quinoa is done.
Put a small frying pan over medium heat, without oil. Add 1/2 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds), spread out, then let them sit untouched on the heat for about 4 minutes. When they start smelling toasty, shake the pan a little to turn them and let them sit for another minute. You don’t want them to brown, just lightly toast.
After the pepitas get toasty, put them aside. In the same frying pan, sauté 1/2 cup of diced red onions in a little olive oil with parsley flakes for a few minutes, just letting them soften slightly.
Once the squash has cooled down, fill it with the quinoa pilaf, including the saluted onions and parsley, and sprinkle the toasted pepitas on top. TA-DA!
If you have leftover squash, or simply choose not to stuff it, add water (3 cups for 2 squash halves), blend and a bay leaf while heating. Sprinkle leftover pepitas and a little parsley leaf on top! Bon appétit, enjoy and please share your meal and tag us!