This is a yummy side or main dish that looks gourmet but really isn’t. My favourite kind of recipe!
2 or 3 sweet mama or acorn squash
3/4 c. dry quinoa (or about 4 c. pre cooked)
1 tsp + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 medium tomatoes
1 medium red onion, or 2 medium shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped + 1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 c. fresh basil, packed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pine nuts
2 tsp pumpkin seeds
1/3 c. feta or fresh grated asiago or parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook quinoa in a rice cooker or pot according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 425F. Half and seed the squash, and place halves face side down on a parchment-lined tray. Place tray in oven and set timer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, half tomatoes and remove stems. In a separate oven-safe dish, lay the tomatoes halved-side down and add chopped garlic and onion. Drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil. When the timer goes off for the squash, leave squash in oven, add the tomato dish to oven and set timer for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, taking care not to burn them, and set aside. When the squash and tomato dish are done, remove from oven. Scoop the tomatoes and onions out of their dish with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid and one tomato half. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.
In a small food processor or Magic Bullet, process the reserved liquid & tomato half, basil, balsamic, crushed garlic, salt and 1 tbsp olive oil until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine cooked (warm) quinoa, chopped tomatoes and onion, sauce, toasted nuts & seeds, and cheese. Divide the mixture evenly and stuff the squash halves. If you only used 2 squash, you’ll have some leftover quinoa, it makes a yummy dish on its own.
Serves 8-10 as a side or 4-6 as a vegetarian main course.