Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

 Grocery shopping for this Mom of twin 3 year old boys and a often dramatic 5 year old girl is no walk in the park.  I normally carefully plan out my meals for an entire week, make a list of all the ingredients I will need for said meals for the entire week, and then as quickly as possible sprint through the isles finding everything I need and hoping to get out as soon after my kids get bored and start seeking entertainment outside the grocery cart as I possibly can.  I really really try to do this only once a week because it is so exhausting that the thought of facing it more than once a week is often too much to handle.

I love to shop at Sprouts!  However, it’s not the closest grocery store to me and not as kids friendly as the grocery stores I typically shop at which is a big deterrent when I’m usually grocery shopping with 2 or 3 kids in tow.  But when I find myself miraculously kidless and in need of groceries, I often excitedly commute across town to Sprouts.  At Sprouts, I usually just wander the isles grabbing whatever beautiful fruits, veggies and specialty items catch my eye in lieu of the traditional grocery list.  I always come home from Sprouts with bags and bags of produce that I often have no real plan for, but looked so good that I just couldn’t pass them up.

That is the exact situation that allowed me to find this gem of a recipe.  I had just returned from Sprouts with all manner of fruits and veggies some of which happened to be acorn squash.  I started browsing the internet for things to do with acorn squash, and I stumbled across a food blog called Marin Mama Cooks where I found a recipe for acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and feta.  I’ve of course tweaked it just a bit to my liking.  This is a fantastic vegetarian and gluten free meal if you are into that kind of thing.  Unless you use 4 acorn squash you will probably have left over quinoa, but it is fantastic left over as a side dish or even alone as a side dish on any day.

QUINOA STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 Acorn squash cut in half
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 C dry quinoa
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 chopped fresh parsley (I always buy  and plant Italian parsley I like it so much more)
  • 1/2  C crumbled feta
  • 1/2 C toasted sliced almonds (the kind meant for salads that you find in bags usually near the produce in the grocery store)
  • 2 tsp red-wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cut the acorns squash in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
  2. Brush the insides with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper
  3. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 15-25 minutes until soft and a fork pierces easily.
  5. Meanwhile, bring 1 C quinoa and 2 C of water to a boil.
  6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until water is absorbed 10-15 minutes.
  7. Let cool just a little, then fluff with a fork.
  8. In a bowl combine quinoa, parsley, feta, 2 tsp rice vinegar, and 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Once squash are out of the oven, fill the middles with the quinoa combination and serve.
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