Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Quinoa

I’ve been really MIA lately. I’m sorry. I do realize that. In my defence, I attended two holiday parties plus a Christmas play over the weekend. I’ve been hanging out with family at my dads house, which is the most lovely, cozy place I can imagine being when it is super cold outside, like it has been. It is kind of like an oversized log cabin with a lot of fancy details, such as the red and green plaid lazy boy I am currently lounging in. Heaven.

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I admittedly haven’t been doing a lot of cooking lately, because my step mom is an amazing cook and I have been very lazy. I did make this a few days before I came home though, and thought I would share.

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I love every kind of squash (butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin) and eat them all throughout the fall and winter seasons. Acorn squash is sweet, creamy, and is the most perfect, unexpected match for the Southwest flavours in this quinoa.

This makes a delicious winter or fall vegetarian meal, and it could even work as a side for Christmas dinner. You also will probably have enough quinoa left to eat for lunch tomorrow – you’re welcome!

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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Quinoa

Adapted from Alaska from Scratch

Serves 2

1 Acorn Squash

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup Red Onion, diced small

1/2 cup Red Bell Peppers, diced small

1 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Corn Kernels

1 cup Quinoa, cooked according to package directions

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Cilantro + extra for serving

1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. Pierce the acorn squash with a fork several times. Place the squash onto a sheet pan and roast whole until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before handling.

2. Increase oven temp to broil.

3. While the squash is cooling, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the onions for 3 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add the red peppers, cooking for 1 or 2 minutes until soft. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt. Stir in the black beans, corn, and quinoa and heat through. Toss in the fresh cilantro and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed.

4. Slice the squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill the halves with large scoops of the black bean and quinoa filling. Top with cheese and return to the oven on broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with additional cilantro and salt/pepper to taste. Serve promptly.

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