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I’ve realized I am a much more creative cook in the fall and winter. It could be that the summer months are usually too hot in NYC to even think about cooking. (Turn on my oven on a 90-degree day? Are you insane?) But I also think I’m just a lot more inspired by fall produce.

One thing I’m especially fond of is squash. Pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti — I dig ’em all. 

My mom tends to cook acorn squash a lot, so for a recent visit of hers, I decided to create a stuffed version made with ground turkey (one of Vivi’s favorite foods) and quinoa. It turned out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you fine folks. Enjoy!
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Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:
2 acorn squash
3 T olive oil, separated
1 c quinoa
2 c water
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small red onions, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T rosemary
1/2 T thyme
1 t nutmeg
1/4 c pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper, to taste
Greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash and dry acorn squash and cut in half. Scoop out seeds. Drizzle olive oil on a baking pan and place squash slices cut side down. Bake for 30 minutes, then set aside.
  2. While squash bakes, pour two cups of water in a pot with 1 T of olive oil and salt to taste. Once boiling, add quinoa. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed. (About 15 minutes.) Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. While quinoa cooks, heat 1 T of olive oil in a large skillet. Add chopped garlic and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook 2-4 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add turkey to onion mixture. Add in spices. (To be honest, the measurements are just estimations. I tend to just eyeball it and shake in as much of each spice as I like.) Cook until turkey isn’t pink anywhere, stirring frequently.
  5. Once turkey is cooked through, add quinoa, pecans, and dried cranberries. (Note: You can also toast the pecans in a small fry pan for 5 minutes prior to adding.) Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place scoops of the turkey mixture in each acorn squash half. If either part has cooled too much, return to the oven to broil for 2-4 minutes.
  7. Before serving, add a dollop of Greek yogurt to each stuffed squash. Happy fall!

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