Thursday, August 2, 2012

Acorn Squash!

It is probably safe to say that I have expressed my love for farmers' markets, but just in case there was any doubt: I love farmers' markets. Today while I tootled around from stand to stand in my normal overjoyed way I spied acorn squash. Instantly my taste-buds craved stuffed acorn squash, and my brain concurred that this was a wonderful idea. I loaded up my reusable shopping bag (how green am I?) and walked the rest of the market with a slightly tweaked back as they are heavy in large numbers! Hind sight truly is 20/20, and next time I am inspired to purchase 6 heavy items I will do so at the end of my market journey.

Look at these orbs of squashy goodness!
Acorn squash is considered a winter squash, but in this climate it can be grown at most times throughout the year. Speaking of...Winter squash has TONS of health benefits! Check out this article from Whole Foods: It is amazing what a healthy punch these guys pack! They provide antioxidant support, work as an anti-inflammatory, and work to provide optimal health. So yes, spread the word, winter squash rules. And as acorn squash falls in that family of food you are looking at a tasty, health benefiting, wonderful addition to your diet.

Once I returned to my dwelling I placed my goods in the kitchen, and then took a timeout to lie on the floor and stretch out the ol' back muscles. Turns out I'm a wuss and my shoulders dislike heavy bags. However, I am the proud owner of two overly affectionate dogs so I got maybe 2 seconds of stretch time before I was pounced upon by the pups.

I cant believe it has taken me this long to show off my dogs, LOL! Admit it, they are adorable!

After the dogs made it clear there was to be no laying on the ground stretch time, I got to work! The end result was a little slice of heaven, and so it must be shared. :)

Heavenly Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 6
gluten free
6 acorn squash
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
1 red bell pepper
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup cranberries
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups veggie broth (low sodium)
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper for taste

First thing preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then get your squash ready! Cut a small bit off the bottom of the squash creating a flat bottom so that it will stand up on its own. Then cut off the top and scoop out the seeds. 

Take the olive oil and rub it into the outside of your squash all over and then place it face down on a baking sheet or large casserole dish. (Face down means the open scooped open side down). Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

While the squash is a'cooking get your filling a ready! Wash and breakdown your cauliflower and place in a steamer. You are going to want to steam the cauliflower till it is very soft. Place all your cauliflower in a bowl and mash it up with the sage and salt and pepper for taste. Set aside. 

Cauli Mash! (It is also good on its own as a side)
Also while the squash is cooking get your quinoa ready. Put the veggie broth, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric in a pot and stir till the spices blend into the broth. Place your quinoa in the broth and cook on high heat till it boils. Once at a boil turn the heat to low/simmer, and cover the pot. The quinoa takes between 10 to 15 minutes to cook. 

The last step to the filling is to get your veggies chopped up! Very finely chop the carrots, red pepper, broccoli, celery, and kale and put in a large bowl. Add the cranberries as well to the bowl. Once the quinoa is finished dump into the bowl quickly so the heat wilts your veggies slightly. Stir everything together. Add salt and pepper if desired. 

Quinoa filling!
After the 30 minutes go by remove the squash from the oven. Let it cool slightly so you can flip them over. Once you flip them over place a dollop of your mashed cauliflower in the bottom. Then fill up your squash to the brim and over flow slightly with your veggie quinoa mixture. Lastly, just for fun, place another dollop of the mashed cauliflower on top. Put your stuffed squash back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, remove from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes, and serve! We served ours with some hot sauce just for spicy fun. Yummy food to your face. 


  1. Looks Amazing! I love seeing new ways to use squash and I love all the different components of this recipie. I want this in my belly immediately!!

  2. Haha... yummy food to your face! You crack me up! Looks amazing Cas... going to try to make this soon!