Lots of normally veggie-adverse people gravitate to this dish. It could be because it’s colorful or comes in its own organic bowl, but I believe the hearty taste elicits a comfort food response. Squash is easy to digest and has numerous nutritional elements — antiinflammatory, antioxidant and immuneboosting — that make it a boon for anyone dealing with cancer. If you aren’t in the mood for roasting squash, this quinoa filling makes for a delectable dish all on its own.
- 4 acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
- 3 tablespoons finely diced fennel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 cups Magic Mineral Broth or water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 6 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or kale, in bite-size pieces
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
To make the squash, cut the tops off and scoop out the strings and seeds. Also cut the pointy ends off the bottoms so they’ll stand up once they’re stuffed.
Stir the olive oil, salt, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and red pepper flakes together in a bowl. Use a brush to spread the spice mixture over the inside of the squash. Place the squash, top side down, on the prepared pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
Check after 20 minutes by touching the top of a squash with your finger. Once it’s soft, remove squash from the oven and cover with foil until you’re ready to fill them.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under running cold water. Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and fennel and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin and coriander, then stir in the quinoa. Stir in the broth and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, cover, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes and cranberries. Stir for 10 seconds, then add the kale and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes for kale, 3 minutes for chard. Remove from the heat and stir in a squeeze of the lemon juice. To assemble the dish, spoon the quinoa mixture into the squash, then top each squash with a scoop of the greens.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
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