Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quinoa, Vegetable, Chicken Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

As our CSA this year is coming to an end (insert sad face here), we are receiving many of my favorite fall veggies, including some beautiful acorn squash. I love that squash season is here!!

Last week, we made a delicious dinner with one of the acorn squash, and I am so excited to share it with you. It was such a hit with both of us; I can guarantee that this dish (and variations on it) will become a regular part of the dinner rotation in our household.

The recipe is very loosely based on a recipe from Half Baked Harvest for chipotle chicken stuffed brown sugar roasted acorn squash. I had seen this recipe on the web last week, and it's where I got the idea to make this quinoa stuffed version. The method we used was very similar, but the ingredients were different. It's such a flexible recipe; you can really change it up and make it your own with your personal favorite ingredients.

I don't really have a true recipe for you here. If you're the type of person who likes to carefully follow a recipe, I recommend you check out Half Baked Harvest's recipe. We cheated a bit because I had gone out to eat with a friend one evening and had leftovers from my meal....which was red quinoa and veggies. So, we had it easy when it came to putting together this meal.

First, we cut the acorn squash in half, brushed it with about a tablespoon of melted butter (you could also do olive oil here; that's what we did the second time we made this meal) and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. The squash then went into the oven to roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or so, until it was fork tender.

As the squash roasted, we prepared the filling, which for us, was a breeze since it involved all leftovers. :) We mixed together the red quinoa and veggies with some chopped, grilled chicken breast we had leftover from a meal we made a couple nights prior. So easy! The quinoa, veggies, and chicken all had enough spices from being previously cooked, so we didn't add any more. When the squash was soft and tender after baking for about 40 minutes, we took it out and "stuffed" each half with some of the quinoa mixture. Then we topped it with some shredded cheese before popping it back in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes. That was enough time for the cheese to melt and the quinoa mixture to heat up.

As we were enjoying this meal, Mike said, "this is one of my favorite meals in a while."


A few nights later, we made this meal again but with a different filling. That night we made "deconstructed taco stuffed acorn squash." We cooked ground turkey with a number of different veggies we had in the fridge; we literally just used up whatever we had, which ended up being onion, sweet potato, carrot, corn, and tomato, I believe. If I'd had some black beans on hand, I definitely would have added them. We stuffed the acorn squash half with the turkey and veggie mixture, topped it with cheese, and voila, we had another delicious meal! So, so good.

Definitely add this dish to your meal plan one of these weeks this fall... You'll be glad you did!

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