By, Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
Remember when I put squash as one of the 5 reasons to vegan? Well this inspired me to use one for dinner. Acorn squash is perfect for stuffing and the best part is the options for what you can stuff it with are endless.
I just looked through my cabinets and decided to use apples, dried cranberries, walnuts and quinoa in my mixture.
1 Acorn Squash
¼ cup of Quinoa
¼ cup of diced onion
½ cup of walnuts
½ cup of dried cranberries
1 Tbs of vegan butter
2 tps of maple syrup
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cut the acorn squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds
Pierce the sides of the squash for baking. I brushed the edges of the squash with some maple syrup just to give it a little sweeter taste. I then place the squash face down in a baking dish with about 2 tablespoons of water and baked in the oven for 30 mins.
Then I cooked the quinoa, it is a small amount and it cooks relatively fast, depending on how much you make, watch for them all the rise to the top of the water and for most of the water to be absorbed. You can also cook in vegetable broth to give it a little more flavor. My ¼ cup of quinoa with ½ cup of water took about 5 mins to cook. I put the cooked quinoa in a bowl and set aside.
Next I diced the apple leaving the skin on, you can peel them if you prefer. I sautéed the apples with the onion and the vegan butter for about 10 mins on med-low heat until the apples and onions are a bit soft.
I then took the apple mixture and combined it with the quinoa I had set aside adding the walnuts, dried cranberries and a teaspoon of maple syrup and salt to taste.
Once the squash is finished baking and the inside is tender I removed from the oven, spoon the mixture into the squash halves and placed back in the oven to bake for another 30-40 mins. You can use fork to determine if the squash is at the desired tenderness and then it is ready to serve.
Not only is this an excellent fall dinner but the fact that you can be creative and use anything you want to stuff it makes it a really fun dish to create.
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