Pump up your servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains with these quinoa pilaf stuffed squash! It's a meal that is savory, sweet, and umami all in one. This dish makes for a wonderful side or entrée for the holidays.
Stuffed Squash With Quinoa Pilaf [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 1/2 pounds squash, acorn or blue hubbard
- 1/2 cup multi-colored quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1/2 cup shallots or onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced
- 3/4 cup red apple, seeded and chopped, 3/4-inch diced
- 1 cup dinosaur kale, heavy ribs removed, sliced thinly (about 1/2 bunch)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 of a lemon rind, finely grated
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries or dried unsweetened cranberries
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, cleaned, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cleaned, sliced thinly
To Make the Squash:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush a little neutral oil on the bottom of a baking pan. Cut the squash in half and place it cut side down in a pan to fit, cover with heavy foil and cook until softened, about 45 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water if you like to create steam.
To Make the Pilaf:
- Cook the quinoa in 1 cup of filtered, boiling water and turmeric. Cover and reduce to a simmer until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- In a large skillet, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and raise heat to medium-high. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and apple and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Add the reserved 1 teaspoon olive oil, thinly sliced kale, and sauté for just 2 minutes until softened.
- Add salt, pepper, lemon rind, the reserved cooked quinoa, and cranberries. Stir up to incorporate all the flavors.
- Add the warmed pilaf into the warmed cavities of the squash, piling high.