- 2 acorn squash
- Olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 red, tart apple, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 6 large leaves of curly kale
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. dried sage
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- Pink salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1. Preheat oven to 400ºF degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 2. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on baking sheet cut side up for 40-50 minutes. Squash is done when top is slightly caramelized and middle is tender.
- 3. Prep your curly kale by rinsing well and removing stalk. Chop the leaves into quarter sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and using both hands, “massage” the oil into the kale. The leaves will break down and become very tender and reduce in size. Once it looks like all the kale is coated with oil, sprinkle a bit of salt and set aside.
- 4. In the meantime, cook your quinoa and filling. Take the quinoa and rinse in a fine mesh grain strainer to remove the bitter tasting saponin (the seeds’ natural coating) and place in a sauce pan along with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before lifting lid. Tip: Save some time by making the quinoa ahead of time.
- 5. In a skillet add a drizzle of olive oil and once heated add the onion, celery, sage and thyme plus a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until onion and celery are tender.
- 6. Assemble all the parts by adding the quinoa, onion mixture, apple, pumpkin seeds and cranberries into the same bowl with the kale. Mix well and then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on top and mix again.
- 7. Scoop generous portions of the quinoa mixture into the cavities of the acorn squash and drizzle lightly with a finishing of olive oil.
- 8. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nutrition and Thyroid Health Coach, Stephanie Wharton, “Healthy Holiday Eats.” thewellsideoflife.com/healthyholidayeats.