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Every once in a while I’ll pick up acorn squash at the market, when they’re 2 for $1, and I have to think of something new to stuff them with every time. It’s a really versatile squash, that you can make either sweet or savory, and it’s the perfect size for it to be its own bowl, which I find freakin’ fantastic. Less dishes = happy Jenee. So, this recipe I made up when I realized we didn’t have everything I needed to make tacos with, and I really wanted tacos (I pretty much always want tacos, so nothing new). We had no beef, but we did have quinoa, and I decided to treat it as if it were indeed beef. So, I accidentally made it fairly healthy, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. 🙂

Ingredients:
2 acorn squash
1 cup of dry quinoa
2 cups of low-sodium broth (or water)
1 can of steamcrisp corn, drained (or frozen, or fresh fresh)
1 can of black beans, drained
1/2 cup of onion, finely diced
3-4 garlic gloves, minced
Half a packet of good taco seasoning (I use Trader Joe’s)
1 cup of shredded cheese (I use a sharp cheddar or pepperjack, your preference)
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped cilantro (optional, if you’re one of those people who thinks it tastes like soap, like Jen)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice your acorn squashes in half (I prefer to cut through the stem because they sit well on their own this way, but if you cut them through the middle you’ll have to trim the stem and remove a little flesh to make them sit flat). Scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff. Drizzle with olive oil, and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush a nonstick sheet pan with olive oil, and lay the squash cut side down on the pan (swirl them around a little in the oil to make sure they’re covered and won’t stick). Pop ’em in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, until very soft when pierced with a fork (not the skin, the flesh of the squash). Check on them every once in a while to make sure they aren’t sticking; you might want to add a little more oil to keep the flesh that’s touching the pan coated. Once done, remove from the oven, turn your squash over and let cool.

While the squash is cooking, heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat, and sautee the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the dry quinoa and let toast in the pan for a minute or two, stirring often. Then add your broth (or water), bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to let the qunioa simmer, until all the water is absorbed. 7 minutes? I don’t know. You’ll see it.

Once the water is absorbed, add your taco seasoning, corn, and beans, and stir until fully combined. Scoop a healthy dollop of your “taco filling” into each acorn squash half, and top with cheese and cilantro, then pop back into the oven for about 10 minutes, just to heat everything through and melt the cheese. Remove from the oven, and maybe add some sour cream and mashed avocado!! Yummmmm. (Don’t forget to turn your oven off now, I do that all the time.)

I don’t have a picture right now of this particular dish, but I’ve made acorn squash several ways. For example, stuffed with spaghetti squash and marinara sauce (fiber overload), and with rice and ground breef (similar to what you typically stuff green/red peppers with).

Acorn Squash stuffed with gf Spaghetti

Acorn Squash stuffed with gf Spaghetti

 

Sweet Dumpling Squash stuffed with Rice and Beans

Sweet Dumpling Squash stuffed with Rice and Beans

 
What an easy way to eat some vegetables! Your mom would be so proud. 🙂

You should also check out Jen’s recipe, Sausage Stuffed Squash. Enjoy!

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