The first Fall squash just arrived in my CSA veggie box — rich flavored, delicious acorn squash. Yeah! Each season has its culinary stars, and squash are definitely the stars of Fall. Another autumnal joy is the new crop of apples in my local market. I combined sweet-tart apples with protein packed quinoa and walnuts for the stuffing for acorn squash. This tasty main dish is vegan, gluten free and packed with nutrition.
Quinoa and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
2 large or 3 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
3 shallots, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 small or one large apple, unpeeled, cored and diced
1 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Heat oven to 400. Lightly season inside of squash with salt and black pepper. Place acorn squash cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until tender.
While squash are baking, prepare quinoa by combining uncooked quinoa and water in small lidded sauce pan. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a large frying pan saute shallot, carrot and apple in 2 TB olive oil. Cook until carrots are tender. Season with cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Combine cooked quinoa with sauteed shallot, carrot and apple mixture. Add walnuts and mix to combine. Mounds hot filling in squash hollow. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Bake for another 15 minutes and enjoy.
Make ahead: This ia a great make ahead recipe. Bake the squash and prepare filling, but don’t add the walnuts yet. Store the squash and filling covered in the fridge for up to three days. 45 minutes before eating, add the walnuts to the filling, fill the squash, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until hot.