Creamy quinoa and mushroom stuffed acorn squash with parmesan and balsamic. A fiber-rich, gluten free, fall-inspired main dish or side.
- 2 acorn squashes, halved
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional herb topping: fresh thyme or basil, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut acorn squash in half, lengthwise; scoop out seeds and discard. Rub 2 tsp olive oil over flesh. Place squash, flesh-down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare quinoa and mushroom mixture. Heat 1 tsp butter and remaining tsp of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add mushrooms, garlic and ¼ tsp salt; cook another 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add milk, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until milk starts to reduce.
- In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all broth is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Mix quinoa and 2 tbsp parmesan cheese into mushroom mixture.
- Fill the hollow center of each squash half with quinoa mushroom mixture. Top each half with remaining parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- In the meantime, pour balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to thicken, ~5 minutes.
- Drizzle balsamic over squash. Top with herbs (if desired) and serve.
Serving size: 1 stuffed squash half Calories: 279 Fat: 8 gm Saturated fat: 2 gm Carbohydrates: 49 gm Sugar: 15 gm Sodium: 380 mg Fiber: 5 gm Protein: 10 gm Cholesterol: 8 mg
Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and more recipes on her blog, Dishing Out Health.