Stuffed Butternut Squash

Stuffed Butternut Squash

I just had a blog published for the first time ever. The permanence and vulnerability of it is a bit terrifying, but also exciting. I wrote it in less than an hour for a mom’s network and I wish I had taken more time to work on segues between ideas and polishing it more.

The theme for their submissions was on the idolatry of magnitude and I ended the blog talking about how cooking is one of the most basic, everyday tasks that makes me feel grounded and real.

The recipe included in the blog was one of the least practical recipes ever. The most decadent of all in my recipe collection. It’s ironic because we hardly ever make that cake unless it’s a very special occasion. It’s also ironic because I have my credentials behind my name (MPH, Masters in Public Health), so I really only look like an expert in getting diabetes and high cholesterol. But everything in moderation is my motto always.

Since after the Super Bowl, we’ve mostly been eating a plant-based diet, though we’re not super-strict about it. Almost no dairy, no sugar, no caffeine, no gluten, no meat…no fun. But actually it has been amazing because we have felt better than ever.

For the stuffed butternut squash, it takes a bit of time to roast, but it’s really easy to prepare and it’s vegan and gluten-free with no added sugar.

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Roast for about 45-50 minutes.

While it is roasting, add olive oil to a saucepan on a high temperature along with a half of a cup of quinoa, minced garlic, lemon zest and the spices. Toast the quinoa for a few minutes and then add a cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Let it reach a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Next add the spinach cherries and lemon juice. Once the butternut squash is done roasting, scoop out the squash and add about half of it to the quinoa (the other half I used to make baby food, but there’s lots of ways it could be used). Turn the heat down to 325.

Next, add the stuffing to the squash boats and top with sliced almonds. Bake for another 10 minutes. Lastly, sprinkle with fresh parsley.

This recipe would be amazing in the fall. The oregano and fennel add lots of savory notes, and the citrus balances it with sweetness and acidity.

Ingredients

1 medium sized butternut squash

1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. corriander

salt & pepper

2 garlic cloves

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped spinach

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup sliced almonds

a big bunch of fresh parsley

the juice and zest of 1 lemon



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