The last time my boyfriend came to Boston, that was in mid-January, we went out to meet some friends for dinner. We ended up in a fancy pub and I for once went with a totally unusual choice: roasted squash. Normally I am the person who orders burgers and fries in a pub. But for some reason this vegan dish sounded so interesting that I had to try it. It was also a little funny because my boyfriend ended up ordering a burger – between the two of us, I am much more of a meat eater whereas he tries to live as vegetarian as possible. I mean I love squash in general, but I also like a good piece of meat every now and then. The dish I ordered turned out to be amazing. And then I remembered that I still had some acorn squashes at home and almost all of the other ingredients. So I tried to make it myself.
I came up with a recipe that I really like. Plus this dish is easy enough to make. Since I like foods a little spicy, I added red pepper flakes. I think they go really well with the sweet cranberries and the maple sirup. I finally also managed to use up my bag of quinoa – although only yesterday I looked into a box on another shelf and found another bag full of it. So cooking more often at home is quite useful because I use up my hidden stocks. In this recipe I make more of the quinoa mixture than I need to fill the squash halves. So you have a little more of it to put next to the squash. Or you just eat it a day later as a cold salad. That’s what I actually did – I filled it into a glass and took it to work with me. Even without the squash it is delicious. Also: If you don’t like blue cheese, just leave it out or substitute it with crmbled feta cheese.
Recipe: Maple Butter Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pecans
- 2 acorn squashes
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 6 tbsp. maple sirup
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tsp. pecan pieces
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 tsp. garlic
- 1/3 onion
- red pepper flakes
- crumbled blue cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F).
- Cut the acorn squashes in half and scoop out the seeds.
- In a little pan melt the butter and mix with 3 tbsp. of the maple sirup. Dab the mix on the insides of the squash halves.
- Put the squash into the oven for about 35 minutes.
- Cook the quinoa in a pot together with about 2 cups of water. It takes about 15 minutes until it's done. Let it cool down a little.
- Mix the quinoa with all remaining ingredients except for the blue cheese.
- After about 35 minutes take the squash out of the oven. Fill the quinoa mix into the halves. Put everything back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
- After taking out the filled squash, sprinkle a bit of crumbled blue cheese on top of each half.