Living in New England, there are a ton of amazing farmers’ markets and farm stands that enable you to enjoy the cornucopia of deliciousness that arrives every harvest season. Being a vegetarian for the past 16 or so years, I always try to find the best, freshest, in-season and local produce to use in my recipes (as annoying and condescending as it sounds, it always tastes the best, is the best for the environment, and we are all trying to save the planet for the next generation to enjoy, aren’t we?). As a busy, always on-the-go single gal, I am a HUGE fan of one pot-ish meals that pack a powerful punch of flavor and are full of nutrients. Aren’t we all busy and hungry for something good?
I found this recipe on another blog that I read, and I modified it to my own needs. I used one carnival and one acorn squash, you can use any two small squash that you like – just be sure they are approximately the same size so they don’t have wildly different roasting times in the oven. I also doubled the stuffing recipe because it looked so good, I wanted to eat it plain!
1 small carnival squash & 1 acorn squash, washed
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups of veggie broth
2 tsp coconut oil
2 leeks, halved, cleaned and white/light green parts thinly sliced
4 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 can of small white beans
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Cut both of the squash in half. (If you can’t, the original writer of this recipe suggested to make a few small pricks with a fork and microwave it whole for 3 minutes on high, it should then be soft enough to cut in half). Scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the squash with melted soy butter (Earth Balance is the best, in my opinion!) or oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Place squash, cut-side down, on a aluminum foil-lined baking tray and bake for ~ 45 minutes, or until it is cooked through and a knife can be easily inserted.
4. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa: In a small saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.
5. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, heat oil and add leeks and sprinkle with salt. Cook until softened, around 7 minutes. Stir in the sage, oregano and cranberries and cook a further 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and maple syrup. The cranberries may begin to pop. Stir in the cooked quinoa and white beans and stir in combine. Set aside until the squash is finished.
6. Once the squashes are cool enough to handle, stuff each half with the quinoa mixture and return to oven, stuffed side up. Bake for another 10 minutes until heated through. (Sidenote: I was lucky enough to perfectly time the squash and filling being ready at the same time. My squash were pretty much cooked as much as I wanted them to be, so I only put the stuffed squash back into the oven for five minutes. It’s all up to you and what you prefer).
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!