Well, autumn in full swing, rain and all (still in denial…). I still love autumn as a season, but only when it isn’t raining…but it’s Vancouver, the city of rain. You think being born and raised here, you’d be used to it. And I am, but still.
One of the good things about autumn? It’s the season for winter squashes, pecans, and apples! That means acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin. And lots of cinnamon.
I love all sorts of squash. Of course we make curries out of it, and we shouldn’t forget pumpkin desserts, like pumpkin pie.
My sister recently sent me a link of vegetarian dishes to make. I had been having my eye on a stuffed acorn squash recipe (which also happened to be on the list), and I really wanted to make something squash or pumpkin related for the blog. So, I was inspired to make this roasted acorn squash stuffed with a quinoa pilaf. Acorn squash has a lot of fibre. It does not have a lot of beta-carotene as say, butternut squash, but fibre is still good for you. Quinoa has your protein, and since I added other veggies, this was perfect.
End result? It was delicious. It was very filling, and this dish is simple to make. Perfect for those meatless Mondays. For those on a plant-based diet, this is vegan!
- 1 large acorn squash
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 a small apple (like gala), diced
- 1/4 an onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 cup of kale, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp fennel, chopped (not the seeds!)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- salt, to taste.
Cook the quinoa according to the instructions and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice open the acorn squash and scoop out and discard the seeds (or bake them for a snack!). To each half, sprinkle the cinnamon (or pumpkin spice), cayenne (~1/4 tsp to each), salt (about 1/2 tsp), and the 2 tsp olive oil. Rub to coat the flesh and the skin. Place cut side down and let roast for about 30 minutes. Flip them to the other side and let cook for another 15-20 minutes until squash is cooked and fork tender.
Meanwhile, heat a saucepan on medium heat, and add the grapeseed oil. Add the onion and garlic and let sautee for a few minutes. Add the carrot, fennel, apple, and kale, and sauté until the kale has become wilted. Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine and heat through. Add salt, to taste.
Take off heat and stir in the pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, and cranberries. Scoop the pilaf mixture into the acorn squash halves and enjoy!!
What are some of your favourite things about autumn?