January 18, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Chickpeas & Raisins


The Golden Globe Awards were on last night and my friend Sharon came over to watch. Since I am gluten free & Sharon is vegan, I decided to make us stuffed acorn squash with quinoa, chickpeas & raisins with sauteed broccoli rabe on the side. Ever since I won this book from Purely Elizabeth (more on that in future posts), I've been a bit obsessed with trying every kind of leafy green on the planet. The slightly bitter flavor of the broccoli rabe was a lovely contrast to the subtle sweetness of my main course. For dessert, I made Ooey Goey Chocolate Cake with some fresh Mint tea.

Some notes about these recipes:
1. I usually keep ready cooked quinoa on hand to use when I want to throw something healthy & delicious together as quickly as possible. For a basic quinoa recipe, check out this post. If you don't have quinoa ready and waiting, it's quick & easy to make while the acorn squash is baking in the oven.
2. This recipe will make 2 main courses or 4 side dishes. For 2 main courses, use 1 large acorn squash. For 4 side dishes, use 2 small acorn squash.
3. Whenever I make squash, I love to use the squash seeds in my recipe. Roasted in the oven, they add a nice crunch to recipes and are a great source of iron, magnesium, manganese & phosphorus. And any leftover seeds make an awesome snack on their own or tossed into a trail mix.
4. I am not going to post the recipe for the Chocolate Cake for now. Why? Because it was a first attempt at making a gluten free & vegan chocolate cake and it didn't come out at perfect as I would have liked. It was really delicious but was much more dense and gooey than I would have liked (hence Ooey Goeey). If you don't care that it wasn't perfect and would really like me to post the recipe, please leave a comment and I'll post as soon as I get a chance.
5. Broccoli Rabe is an excellent source of iron and the splash of lemon juice contains vitamin C which helps your body absorb the iron. Just a fun fact to know & tell at parties ;)
6. This meal contains so many incredible nutrients. Don't be surprised if you feel like a rock star after.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Chickpeas & Raisins
1 large or 2 small Acorn Squash (see note 2 above)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 tbsp Fresh Thyme
1/3 cup Raisins
3/4 cup cooked Quinoa
1/2 cup cooked Chickpeas (if canned, rinsed)
1 tsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt or Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Wash the acorn squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and set them aside (do not throw out!) Place the squash sides flesh side down on a greased baking sheet. Place in your preheated oven & bake for 1 hour.
If your quinoa needs some cooking, now is the perfect time to do so.
While the squash are baking, prepare your stuffing. Heat the 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chopped yellow onion and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. The onions should be translucent and softened. Add the cinnamon, thyme, chickpeas, and raisins. Continue to stir & cook for another 1-2 minutes until ingredients are combined & heated. Add the quinoa, combine and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
To prepare the squash seeds, wash, dry & toss with 1 tsp olive oil & a dash of salt. Place on a baking sheet and stick in the oven for about 10 minutes. They are ready when they are a nice golden brown. Once you remove from the oven, let them rest for about 10 minutes before using so they can crunchen (I know, made up word) up a bit.
When the acorn squash is baked, the flesh will be soft and your home will smell pretty incredible. Remove from the oven, place flesh side up on a plate and stuff with the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with some roasted seeds.

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Lemon
1 big bunch of Broccoli Rabe
1 cup water
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, sliced thin
juice from 1/2 Lemon
dash of Salt

Place the 1 cup of water in a large saucepan & bring to a boil
To prepare the broccoli rabe for cooking, cut off about 1" of the stems from the bottom of your bunch & throw away. Now, roughly chop up the rest of the broccoli rabe (including stems, leaves & florets) and wash thoroughly. Place in the pot of boiling water- the water should not cover the broccoli rabe. Cook for about 2 minutes and remove the greens from the pot. Do not throw out the water- it is chock full of nutrients. Instead, let it cool & drink or mix into a green smoothie. Trust me, just try it :)
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the broccoli rabe, lemon juice & dash of salt. Saute for about 2 minutes, remove from heat & serve.

Mint Tea
Fresh Mint Leaves
Boiling Water
Sweetener (optional)

Wash & roughly chop a handful of mint leaves. In each mug, add about 1-2 tbsp (depending on how strong you like your tea) to a mug and cover with boiling water. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain (or don't... I don't mind the mint leaves in my tea) and enjoy.

1 comment :

  1. Yum! My cupboard was bare tonight but I had everything needed for this thanks to a random squash I've had sitting around for a while. I skipped the raisins (personal aversion to sweet/savory combos) and when I realized as I was sauteing the onions that I didn't have any cinnamon, I used pumpkin pie spice mix instead. (I also had garam masala that would probably been awesome as well) Super yummy and I have leftovers for tomorrow!

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