quinoa

Sweet Pistachio Cranberry Acorn Squash Recipe

I think squash is the universal food of Autumn. And cinnamon. And nuts and dried berries. And apple cider. And stews, baked veggies, hot cocoa, apple pie and cranberry sauce. You get the point.

We tried out this baked acorn squash recipe for a retreat in February and it was a hit! So full of micro and macro nutrients, filling, healthy and most importantly... delicious! The mix of flavours from the maple syrup in the squash dressing to the pistachios, cranberries and cinnamon in the stuffing make for a very happy stomach. Have I caught your attention yet? Good. Here's the recipe.

Serving: 2-4 (depending how hungry you are and whether you're making sides with this meal)

Ingredients: 

- 1 medium acorn squash  - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar  -3 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)  - 2 tablespoons maple syrup  -Salt  - Small onion, diced  - 1 cup of quinoa  - Desired amount of cranberries (I used over a cup... I recommend a half cup and seeing how much you like) - Cinnamon, cayenne pepper  - Shelled pistachios (again to your taste. I used ~ 1 cup)

Directions:

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

- Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place on baking sheet, flesh side up

- Mix vinegar, oil and maple syrup in a small bowl or cup. Spread over flesh side and add a pinch of salt to the squash. Pop in oven and roast until the squash is soft, testing with a fork. Mine took approximately 40 minutes

- Heat whatever you've got left of the oil mixture in a pot, adding onions and cinnamon. Sauté the onions for a few minutes then add the quinoa and 2 cups of water - cook the quinoa according to the package. Right after adding water, add cinnamon, salt, cayenne pepper (to taste). 

- When the quinoa is ready, add in cranberries and pistachios. I like to add the cranberries into the quinoa as it finished cooking because I like them a bit softer and chewier! 

- Remove squash when it is ready and stuff with quinoa mixture. Serve warm! :)