Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Goat Cheese Crema recommended by Hayley

Stuffed acorn squash with cranberry, pecans and quinoa then drizzled with a simple goat cheese crema. Perfect as a vegetarian meal or side dish

Total prep and cooking time:  1 hour 20 mins

Serves 4, 1 squash half each

For the acorn squash:

  • 2 medium acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 4 teaspoons virgin melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

 For the quinoa:

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • For the goat cheese crema:
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar to each squash half; use your hands to rub into the flesh of the squash, even on the top (but not on the skin). Sprinkle each squash half with a little bit of cinnamon.
  4. Place flesh side down on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until squash is just fork tender.
  5. While the squash roasts, you can make the quinoa.
  6. Add quinoa, water and thyme leaves to a large pot and place over medium high heat.
  7. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes.
  8. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.
  9. Next stir in coconut oil, orange juice, honey and turmeric and stir to combine.
  10. Fold in dried cranberries and pecans.
  11. Once acorn squash is done roasting, evenly stuff each squash with quinoa. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  12. While the squash is baking again, make the goat cheese drizzle: Add goat cheese, honey, apple cider vinegar and water to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Drizzle evenly over each squash half.

Notes

If you want to save time, you can make the squash and quinoa a day ahead of time. Once ready to serve, simply reheat in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until warm and then make goat cheese crema and drizzle on top.

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