Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Balsamic Maple Drizzle
Any stuffed squash is a good squash, and the acorn may be my favorite. This one holds awesome flavors that include balsamic yumminess and maple sweetness with mouth-watering textures from the chickpeas, orzo, quinoa and crunchy toasted almonds.
Serves: 2 as an entree, 4 as a starter dish
Total time: 55 minutes
2 medium size acorn squash
1/2 package of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains, but if you don’t have access to TJ, mix 1/4 cup each red and white quinoa, 3/4 cup couscous, 1/2 cup orzo
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 cup cooked (canned) garbanzo beans
1 cup chopped kale or spinach
1 medium carrot, diced small
1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds, toasted
green onions, chopped fine
For the Drizzle
3 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tblsp. maple syrup
1 Tblsp. liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Dash of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the acorn squash in halves, and scoop out the seeds with a fork.
Place squash flesh side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
While squash is in the oven, start your grains and pasta. If you have the Trader Joe’s Ancient Grain Blend, follow the package directions. If using your own mix, bring 2-1/4 cups water or vegetable broth to a boil and add the grains and pasta. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Make the drizzle by combining the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, liquid aminos (or soy sauce), Dijon mustard, garlic, and salt/pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth and pour 3/4 of this beautiful sauce over the cooked grains and stir to combine.
Heat a saute pan on high and toss in diced onions with a splash of water to keep them from sticking. As they begin to cook, they’ll release some of their own natural juices. Cook the onions for 3 minutes, then add the diced carrots and garbanzo beans with 1/4 cup water or broth. Cook until carrots are semi-soft, about another 4-5 minutes.
Add the spinach or kale to pan, tossing it to mix in and turn the heat off.
Remove acorn squash from oven when done and carefully turn over each half. Using a fork, begin to scrape the squash flesh just to loosen it in each half shell.
Pile in the grains blend first, then the vegetable saute. Top with toasted almonds and diced green onions.
Drizzle the remaining maple balsamic glaze over the top of each squash half and voila!