Baked Acorn Squash with Almonds and Quinoa

On Thanksgiving day we enjoyed this amazing squash recipe made by our daughter-in-law.  I am going to practice it today and serve it to a special guest coming to our house for lunch on Monday.  I wanted to make a vegetarian meal for my guest and chose Squash with Almonds and Quinoa.  I’ll also serve a salad with it.

acorn squash

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2-4 small acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed – If you’re serving 2 people get 1 squash, 4 people then get 2 squashes, 8 people then get 4 squashes. The quinoa makes enough to fill 8 small squash halves. You could even use 1 large butternut squash here and fill that up with the quinoa. I used one squash and had the leftover quinoa for lunch sans the squash.
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing on the squash
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quick cooking quinoa
  • 1¾ cups filtered water
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • ½ cup raw almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Using a sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut the acorn squash in half, from stem to tip. The squash can rock back and forth, so take care as you are cutting it.
  3. Scoop out all the seeds and membranes, using either a spoon or a melon baller.
  4. Brush each squash half with a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, until tender when pierced with a fork and caramelized, about 15-25 minutes. It may take longer or shorter, depending on the size of your squash. I had a larger acorn squash, so it took mine about 25 minutes.
  6. While the squash is cooking, place quinoa along with 1¾ cups filtered water and a big pinch of coarse sea salt in a pot set over high heat. Bring quinoa to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa’s germs look like lots of little spirals, about 12-15 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat, place a dry clean paper towel between the pot and lid, and let quinoa sit for at least 5 minutes before giving it a fluff with a fork.
  8. While the quinoa and squash are cooking, chop the parsley and toast up the almonds. Note: You can also toast up the almonds ahead to time to save a step. Just store them in covered container till you’re ready to use t
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the chopped almonds to the skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots and the nuts are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a paper towel lined plate to absorb some of the oil. Sprinkle the almonds with some fine sea salt. Set them aside to cool.
  10. In a large bowl, combine together the quinoa, ½ cup chopped parsley, ½ cup feta, toasted almonds, 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Fill up your squash halves with the quinoa and dig in.
  12. Got leftover quinoa? Just reheat it in a skillet with a touch of coconut oil, or just eat it cold
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