Acorn Squash Quinoa
Happy Holidays! A bit late but things have been a little insane around here. In non-food news, we had our first donor IVF cycle a week ago and will be finding out the results later this week/early next. It’s amazing how in some ways time has flown since then but yet in other ways time has stopped – or in the very least is dragging on. I’ve spent a lot of time relaxing, and working on new recipes, but very little time in the kitchen. It hasn’t helped that my oven broke, but figuring out ways around it. Primarily that means lots of stove top cooking and very few baked treats but that’s okay! If anything it gives me a jump start on my New Years Resolution to cut back on sweets, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Today’s recipe is actually one I made right before my transfer, and one that I started working with at the start of fall. Since my house is mostly a nut free zone, I have to find other ways of recreating nutty flavors, usually in the form of sesame seeds. However I’ve become slightly addicted to acorn squash – nutty and sweet and meaty all in one awesomely healthy gourd. I’ve started adding it to everything to see what it does, and does not go with, and so far everything has worked! This dish was one of those cabinet/fridge clearing exercises where a bunch of stuff had to go before it was too late – so into the pan it went!
This dish was a creamy curry success – the acorn squash goes fantastically with the spices and the heat without becoming a mushy mess. I served these with some sesame greens, as some habits are hard to break.
Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit
When I saw the challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking was Native American – I was a bit nervous but not for any of the normal reasons. Recently there has been some uproar on blogger “feedback” sites about the insensitivity of bloggers as it relates to other cultures/religions/practices with a focus on cultural approbation. While I would hope that posting a recipe would not be considered cultural stealing, I still paused to weigh if it would be worth being a potential target on one of those more venomous sites, especially after “yelpgate” a few weeks ago. In the end I decided that sharing recipes should always be allowed, regardless of where (or where not) a person is from. After all, everyone has to eat!
In the end, it’s a balancing act – and I can only hope that this post strikes the right note as I would really like to avoid getting messages (again) about how I need to be hit by a truck. I enjoyed this dish as is, while my cheese loving spouse adding some Parmesan Cheese to his. I think in the future I’ll go full stew, instead of debating back and forth while making the dish.
I’m also sending this over to Simple and in Season, hosted by the always fabulous Ren Behan since Acorn Squash is in its prime right now – and there is something very fall-like when it comes to dried fruit treats.
Quinoa with Acorn Squash
Another new seasonal vegetable! Acorn squash was once of the seasonal squashes I had always seen at the market, but since it’s normally right next to the butternut squash I would skip over it. This time I went straight for it and grabbed a large white squash. Typically I got for the mid-range options but since I had two recipes to try I knew I would need a bigger than normal baby. Once I got home I split it down the middle, wrapping half and placing in the fridge for later in the week. The other half was seeded, reserving the seeds for a tasty late-night snack as well as a topping for the quinoa. I had debated how to cook the squash, before deciding to saute this half and bake the second half so that I could try out the two most popular methods. The “base recipe” is one I have used many, many, many times with other gourds that way I could get a good comparison between the acorn squash and those I have had in the past.
I wasn’t impressed with how well the squash didn’t stand up to the recipe, but the taste was still amazing which is what really matters. At the last moment I decided to top it with some Greek Yogurt, just to see what it would do and I really enjoyed the creaminess it added to the dish. As a bonus there is also a coupon on the linked website, so great excuse to give it a try if you haven’t! (btw this company has no idea who I am, just noticed the coupon offer when I went to find a link to the brand I used)
For the seeds after making sure they were dry and clean, I coated them in olive oil and tossed them in a mixture of paprika, cayenne powder, and salt and then sauted them in EVOO. I cooked them until they were a nice golden brown shade, stirring frequently to prevent popping and burning.