Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Excuse the not-so-sexy photo. I was too hungry to stage it.

My mom and I just booked a long-overdue trip to Hawaii for December. We will stay in a studio apartment in Paia on Maui. She just called me to tell me we will be taking a 2-hour surf lesson while we’re there. I told her about my irrational fear of getting my teeth knocked out by a surf board. I also told her I probably won’t even be able to paddle myself out with my weak arms. She responded by saying that I should do some push ups and get over my fear. Learning how to surf is something she has been talking about for as long as I can remember.

So in the spirit of wearing bikinis in December and the succulent squash this time of year, I made this stuffed squash recipe from Whole Living. The first night, I had mixed feelings about the quinoa salad itself. It seemed bland or like it was missing something. It was also tangy, which I couldn’t decide if I liked or not. However, the next two days I decided I really liked it heated up over the stove. The texture of the pistachios was interesting–in a good way–and the flavors were bright. I ended up eating the squash halves separately, with the quinoa on the side.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed really well to get rid of the bitter taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
  •  2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  •  Pinch red-pepper flakes

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Simultaneously, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Divide filling among squash.

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