The holiday season is upon us!
Thanksgiving marked the beginning of my favorite time of year. I love the summertime because I LOVE the heat, but the fall and winter brings two of my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving + Christmas. We decorate the apartment, make coquito or egg nog (check out my vegan coquito recipe here), we make snowflakes and have people over regularly. I practically spend most of my time in the kitchen or cuddled on the couch with Matt listening to our own Christmas playlist (yup, we made our own playlist this year. No commercials. Just straight up seasonal awesomeness).
We hosted for Thanksgiving again this year and a few of our friends actually said they were trying to be vegetarian (like me ;)) so I wanted to present a stunner for the veggie main. Acorn squash are perfect for stuffing and have a nutty slightly sweet taste once roasted.
You can prepare all of this in advance (the quinoa/grain mixture can be prepped a day or two beforehand and stored in the fridge) and just pop in the oven when you’re ready to serve. Now, that’s what I call good hosting!
Maple Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash
What you need:
- 6 acorn squash, sliced in half and seeds scooped out
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa (feel free to use cauliflower rice, brown rice, millet or farro)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped unsweetened dried tart cherries (you can also use cranberries)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts or almonds or cashews
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, unsalted raw
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried or fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons melted pasture raised butter or coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons grade b maple syrup
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Himalayan Pink Salt, Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
How you make it:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare a baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil (easy clean up! YES, for the win).
- With a sharp knife, cut acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds, rub with coconut oil and place cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Feel free to add salt and pepper before roasting! Roast for 30 minutes, flipping over to the cut side up after 15 minutes.
- While the squash are roasting, prepare your grain salad. Combine garlic, shallot, cooked grains, nuts of choice, dried fruit (tart cherries or unsweetened cranberries are great but feel free to also try pomegranates), herbs, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust flavors according to your taste.
- Remove your roasted acorn squash from the oven. In a small pan melt remaining coconut oil or butter with maple syrup.
- Add grain salad to each acorn squash (in the little perfectly portioned center). Brush or drizzle with maple butter.
- Roast for about 10-15 more minutes.
- Serve with freshly chopped parsley, an additional squeeze of lemon juice. Boom.
(I’ve made this twice and once I added chickpeas! It was pretty dang good then too).
Peace, love and NO Beef!