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Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Toasted Pine Nuts

Adapted from ATX Gluten-Free website

Serves 2, with leftover quinoa.

Cook’s Review:  “My husband, 7-year old, and I all found this recipe very tasty.  When baking the squash, I would use macadamia oil or olive oil instead of butter.  Since there is leftover quinoa, you could bake an extra squash or two for more servings.” ~ Natalie S.

1 acorn squash
1 cup NOW Organic Quinoa Grain
2 cups chicken stock
1 lb. small sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt for squash, 1/2 teaspoon salt for quinoa mixture
1/8 teaspoon black pepper for squash, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper for quinoa mixture
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Ellyndale Organics™ Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
2 tablespoons butter divided, for squash
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Large handful of fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup NOW Certified Organic Pine Nuts, toasted**
1/4 cup fresh feta cheese

*NOW ingredients available at your local health food store

**How to Toast Pine Nuts: Toasting pine nuts gives them roasty flavor, browns them, and makes them firmer, too. It's easiest to do in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Shake the skillet frequently to ensure even browning—the pine nuts are small and full of rich oil, and will burn quickly if you don't watch carefully. When the nuts are fragrant and browned, take the pan off the heat. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate to cool.

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds.
  3. Sprinkle salt, pepper, cayenne pepper over squash.
  4. Place butter in each squash.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender, set aside.
  6. Toast pine nuts, set aside.
  7. Cook quinoa according to directions, with chicken stock instead of water.
  8. In separate skillet, sauté mushrooms and onions in extra virgin olive oil at medium/medium-high heat.
  9. Wait until mushrooms and onions are tender and slightly brown to season them with salt and pepper, about 15 minutes.
  10. Add in garlic, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, along with salt and pepper.
  11. Simmer on low for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add cooked quinoa to vegetable mixture.
  13. Stir in fresh parsley and feta cheese.
  14. Place quinoa mixture inside cooked acorn squash.
  15. Top with toasted pine nuts.
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