Turning Vegetarian – Southwestern Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

by Nicole Lee

Yesterday, Monday November 21st, 2011 marked my first vegetarian meal that I cooked myself on my road to transitioning entirely. (I didn’t even realize until I was eating it that not only was it vegetarian, but also vegan.) As my Turning Vegetarian – The Recipes That Made It Happen page notes I am working out of the Better Homes and Gardens 365 Vegetarian Meals Cookbook.

For whatever reason this ended being my first choice and boy am I glad! The recipe was simple, clean and delicious, not to mention inexpensive. The squash was my favorite part. There’s something about the nutty buttery flavor that acorn squash offers that I can’t find anywhere else naturally.

As a side note, I find it incredibly hard to shop for just one person. Either I buy too much and throw things away or I never have the ingredients I need/want to make anything worth eating. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Side note two, now that it’s getting dark at 6:00 and I don’t even get out of work until 5:30 I have literally no light when I finish cooking and start taking photos. So while I work with settings and learn how to edit them into something worth viewing please bear with me!

Without further adieu I invite you to review the recipe below and try this one out for yourself!

Southwestern Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 60 minutes

Nutritional values (will vary depending on brands)- Per serving: 317 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 572mg sodium, 63g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 12g protein


2 small organic acorn squash (mine weighed in around 1.25 pounds each)
1 c. water
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa (rinsed and drained)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 ear fresh organic sweet corn with kernels cut from cob
1 c. chopped sweet pepper or approximately 1 medium (I used orange)
2 green onions, chopped
2 medium fresh jalapenos, diced (I do not seed mine, but if you don’t want too much spice then make sure to remove the seeds!)
1 tbs. olive oil
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cut squash in half (either lengthwise or across) and remove all seeds. Place each half, cut side down, on a baking pan and bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes (or until squash flesh is tender).
2. While squash is baking take the water, quinoa, cumin and salt and mix in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
3. In a skillet saute corn, jalapenos, pepper, onions in oil until vegetables begin to soften.
4. Stir vegetables, black beans and quinoa together and set aside.
5. When squash is ready remove from oven and spoon quinoa mixture in (it will look like you have too much and mounding will be necessary).
6. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 12-15 minutes and enjoy!



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