There’s nothing better on a chilly night having a one-dish meal baking in the oven.  You can have this alone or with some sautéed greens and you’ll feel completely satisfied.

While, I will admit that this is not the quickest dish to make, it does give you a great taste of autumn, fills your belly and warms you up.

What’s So Smart & Sexy About This Dish?

Acorn Squash--full of dietary fibers it will keep things flowing; it’s antioxidants–beta carotene in particular are great for lowering the risk of cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and it’s low on the glycemic load….unless you cover it in maple syrup.

Quinoa- What isn’t to love about quinoa?  It’s a complete protein with an essential amino acid profile similar to milk (it actually contains more calcium than milk).

Quinoa is high in lysine, an amino acid that is scarce in the vegetable kingdom and plays a major role in calcium absorption, building muscles,  and recovering from surgery or sports injuries

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Portabella Mushrooms & CranberriesScreen Shot 2016-06-15 at 5.17.17 PM

[Serves 4]

INGREDIENTS

2 medium acorn squash
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 large Portabella mushroom, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
1 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoons thyme, finely chopped

½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 450°. Trim off each end of the squash.  Stand the squash upright and halve lengthwise.  Scoop out the pulp and the seeds and discard.  Brush each half with extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon sea salt and black pepper.

Arrange cut sides down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast the squash until the flesh is tender and the edges are golden brown, approximately 25-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, flip the squash halves over and set aside.

While the squash roasts, place 1 cup of water into a small pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Place quinoa in pot, bring back to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook until all liquid is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté’ 2 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent.

Add the mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the dried cranberries, rosemary & thyme and cook for 2 minutes.

Mix the quinoa and mushroom mix together.

Fill the roasted squash halves with the quinoa mushroom mixture and bake again for another 10 minutes (there may be some extra filling for tomorrow’s lunch).