This delicious and nutritious stuffed squash recipe was inspired by a number of things: some of our veggie friends subtly hinting that we haven’t given them enough love, the squash at the Tremont Farmer’s Market looking too good to pass up, but mostly we wanted to post a seasonal recipe that would give a proper nod to Autumn because we have yet to do so. Since typical fall weather seems to be in full-effect and those glorious Indian Summer days seem to be behind us, now seemed like a good time to pay tribute.
Fall is an absolutely beautiful, fun, and delicious season and we’re well aware that most people share that same sentiment. In addition to the other glorious aspects of fall (Flannel and cord fashions, football tailgating, changing leaves, Halloween concerts, etc.), the food is one of the best factors. It’s tough not to crave all of the great fall flavors and dishes when you’re constantly reminded of them every time you hop on social media, flip through a magazine, or stop at the grocery store. I wanted to capture those fantastic fall flavors in this recipe, while also keeping it veg-friendly and relatively healthy.
It seemed appropriate to pair a fall inspired meal with a fall inspired playlist. Certain genre’s, songs, bands, etc. remind me (and maybe you too) of a particular season or time of year. While some are more obvious, like reggae in the summer or Yonder Mountain String Band’s “Snow on the Pines” in the winter, others just seem to just have a feel and mood that fits the season at hand. Whether it’s because you always heard that one song the first couple weeks back at school or you paint a picture in your head of a late autumn street-scape whenever you hear that particular band or for whatever other reason, these artists and tracks remind us of fall.
I compiled an Autumn playlist with some songs that I think have a “fall vibe” as well as those that more obviously fit the season. What songs, musicians, and music remind you of fall?
These squash tasted as delicious as they looked when I scooped them up at the farmer’s market and the filling is loaded with different textures, flavors, and nutrients. You can add more spices if you want a bigger kick and/or lose the goat cheese if you want to make it vegan.
- 2 squash of your choosing (I used 1 butternut and 1 acorn)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2-3 small carrots
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3.5 oz. goat cheese
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. coriander
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Oil and water for cooking
- Preheat oven to 375° and lightly oil baking sheet. Cut squash in half and scrape out seeds. If using butternut squash, you can cut off skinnier part and create a small valley/canal to place quinoa mixture in later. Brush insides of squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
- While squash is baking, wash (shrooms), clean & peal (carrots), chop (spinach), slice (garlic) etc. your veggies. Slice the garlic and cut carrots into small pieces. Sauté garlic, carrots, and mushrooms in cooking oil – I used and highly recommend coconut oil – until carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper and about half of each of other spices.
- Rinse quinoa in cold water. You need to use a fine mesh strainer and since I have NO IDEA where mine is….I used one from a large tea pot. Took a bit longer than usual, but got the job done 🙂
- Toast quinoa with a pinch of salt in small pot with a small amount of melted coconut oil for 2-5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer (med-low), and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, turn pan with veggies up to med-low and stir in chopped spinach and pine nuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add mixture to quinoa, along with dried cranberries and remainder of spices. Taste and salt & pepper as needed.
- Fill squash with quinoa mixture, top with spoonfuls of goat cheese, and broil for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty and starts to brown slightly. Then, enjoy!