A super simple, gluten-free, nutrient dense recipe filled with savory flavours that will warm your heart.
What’s so good about this recipe? Hmmm…lets see…
Acorn Squash: This delicious winter squash is antioxidant rich, is packed with an array of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin B-6, potassium, magnesium and is an excellent source of vitamin C.
Quinoa: Quinoa is an amazing gluten-free substitute, especially when stuffing vegetables. With every cup of quinoa you get 8g of protein and 6g of fibre. This super-nutritious super-grain is a good source of iron and is actually considered a complete protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids. I like to make batches of it and keep in in the fridge as it’s so versatile and it amps up the nutrient content to almost anything you make.
Vegetables: There are endless benefits to eating vegetables, they’re loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals, they lower cholesterol levels…not too much to say here that you most likely don’t already know. The added bonus though, is that along with the vitamin c in the squash there are astronomical amounts in red peppers as well. So why is this important? Well, if you didn’t know this already iron is best absorbed when vitamin c is kicking around to lend a hand, and because one serving of quinoa gives you about 15% of your daily requirement of iron I want to absorb as much as I can.
Spices: As for spices, it’s good to know that all spices including salt and pepper (and no, NOT your traditional white refined salt) contain many minerals, have anti-inflammatory effects and contain some of the highest orac levels (a.k.a antioxidant level). As an example, the orac level of cinnamon sits at a little over 250,000 compared to blueberries which sit at just a little over 6000. This is NOT to say blueberries or any other fruit or vegetable aren’t good for you, but it’s simply to help make you more aware of how great the difference is amongst the two. Adding various spices to our foods not only enhances the flavour the health benefits we reap are amazing. As for the salt I mentioned earlier, you’ve most likely heard that a low sodium diet is essential for optimal heart health, which yes, is true but it’s the sodium in processed foods that we need to watch out for including our traditional table salt. The white refined table salt that we are all accustom to using is the worst salt to consume as it’s completely devoid of all nutrients other than iodine which is added back after the refining process. It’s important to note that sodium is essential for proper functioning of our body. Sodium helps control how our muscles and nerves work on a daily basis and helps to regulate our fluid balance. In moderation the best salt to consume is Himalayan Pink Salt as it contains 84 different minerals essential to our health!
Ok, so now that you’re completely educated on how super healthy this recipe is, you are most likely super excited to make it! I won’t keep you any longer…here’s the recipe: 😉
Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 3 cups chopped red & yellow peppers
- 1/2 finely chopped onion
- 1 finely chopped celery stalk
- 1-2 tbsp. avocado oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- garlic powder
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (optional)
1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Cut the acorn swash in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the pulp and seeds, and place right side up on a baking sheet (flesh side up). Spray the inside of each acorn squash with avocado oil, season with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Bake the squash until tender when pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2.) While the acorn squash is baking you can cook your quinoa and sauté your vegetables. When cooking quinoa 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water gives you a perfect fluffy quinoa texture. This will give you exactly the amount you need for the recipe but I encourage you to make extra as quinoa is fabulous in salads, soups, stews, chili…you name it! Hot or cold it’s super versatile and so good for you!
3.) Once your quinoa is cooked chop your vegetables and start by sautéing your onions with your garlic, your celery, your walnuts and add your turmeric as well as a dash of paprika in a tbsp. or two of avocado oil. Once soft add your peppers, season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
4.) Finally, combine 2 cups of cooked quinoa to your vegetable mixture and mix well. Feel free to add a little more salt and pepper to taste. By now your acorn squash should be ready to get stuffed! Remove the acorn squash from the oven and pour out any excess liquid from the centers of the squash. Place back onto the baking sheet and carefully stuff your squash with your quinoa mixture and top with cheese. Place the squash back in the oven and broil for only 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve immediately. (In the photos I topped mine with a little freshly chopped green onion to make it look pretty.) 😉 Enjoy!
Yields 4 servings.
PureSense Health Clients: 1 serving: 1/2 Acorn Squash = 3 Starch + 2 Fat