Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Recipe Time: Roasted Acorn Squash with Greens & Beans Quinoa!

Growing up, we received oodles and oodles of fresh summer squash from my grandfather's garden each year. This would have been awesome if I had liked squash, but.... (big surprise) I didn't.

My mother always prepared it in one of two ways - sliced and sauteed OR mushed and mixed in a casserole dish with lots of butter, Saltine crackers and God knows what else. I obviously preferred the latter.

For a long, long time, I actually didn't know that other types of squash even existed! Or that there were other ways to prepare them! So when I received a cute little acorn squash from my CSA last week, I clearly had no idea what to do with it. So I used one of my 'Phone-a-Friends' and dialed up my girl Sarah Kagan over at Beyond the Batter. "She'll know what to do with this thing...", I thought to myself.

And of course, like the culinary genius that she is, Sarah had a great recipe in her back pocket for acorn squash and even better - she proceeded to rush right over and whip up the most fabulous dinner for me and my man. What a gal!

So today, I'm sharing it with you. It's worthy of some blog-time. And who knows... maybe you too have no idea what to do with the damn thing!

Preheat the oven to 375F. While the oven is heating up, cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions.
Slice 1 medium-size acorn squash and empty out the seedy middle (you can even save the seeds and roast them later!)
Now cut the ends off the squash and slice it into 3/4 inch pieces.
Place the squash in a large mixing bowl and coat with 1-2 Tbs. oil of your choice (I recommend coconut oil). 
Lightly sprinkle the mixture with cumin powder and sea salt to taste (and cinnamon - we were forced to use cinnamon sticks because that was all we had on hand but ground cinnamon would be much easier!).
Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until tender (flipping halfway through).
Grab 1 can of white beans and rinse in a strainer until the water runs clear.
In a large mixing bowl, add the beans to the cooked quinoa...
...and mix well! (There's Sarah!).
Now for your dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the juice of 2 lemons, 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1-2 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar, and sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Pour over your quinoa/bean mixture (if you want to add more later, you can! that part's up to you!)
Meanwhile, saute one bag of frozen kale (16 oz.) with 1/2 bag of frozen broccoli (8 oz.) - or use fresh veggies if you have them!
Add them to the quinoa mixture and you're done!
Serve the quinoa atop a few slices of acorn squash and enjoy how the flavors blend together so beautifully! 

If it's even possible, this dish made our little viewing party of HOMELAND that much better! Terrorist plots... mental breakdowns... and yummy acorn squash. Could my night get any better?

Thanks, Sarah!

Oh...and if you'd like to curb a sweet tooth the vegan way, check out Sarah's recipe for her Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! I taste-tested (and approved!) more than a few last night!

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