This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash (vegan & gluten free) w/ pumpkin seed & tart cherry quinoa pilaf, is a healthy fall entree or side dish. Serve it as a side dish, an entree for Meatless Monday, or at your holiday gathering.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut acorn squash in half, vertically, and remove the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh of both pieces of squash, then sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place squash, flesh side down on a foil lined sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.
While squash is baking, combine quinoa and water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and cook until water is absorbed, and quinoa is nice and fluffy.
While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook until translucent. Push onions to the side of the pan, and add almonds, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to toast. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
When quinoa is done cooking, pour it in to a medium bowl, then stir in onion/almond mixture, pumpkin seeds, cherries, spinach, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop ~ 3/4 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.
Preparation & Serving Tips
You can meal prep the pumpkin seed & tart cherry quinoa pilaf ahead of time. You should also have leftover quinoa pilaf~enjoy it the next day for lunch!
Don't have baby spinach? Add any favorite finely chopped leafy greens.
Ditto for the "bling" (almonds, pumpkin seeds, tart cherries)~You can toss in any seeds, nuts, and dried fruit you have on hand.
I LOVE the fresh oregano with this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash, but feel free to experiment with any variety of fresh (or dried) herbs, and let me know it goes!
Serve as a main dish with some fruit on the side, or as a side dish. It would be perfect for a vegetarian/vegan entree at Thanksgiving!