A great way to celebrate seasonal vegetables is with this delicious stuffed butternut squash recipe (originally found here). High in protein and nutrients with the addition of chickpeas, quinoa, and packed full of flavour, it is sure to please around any dinner table!
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
2 medium butternut squash about 2 1/2 pounds each
2 teaspoons olive oil divided
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 bunch kale stems removed and chopped (about 6 lightly packed cups)
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for roasting squash
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus additional for roasting squash
1 can low sodium chickpeas (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
Zest of 1 orange plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/3 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese, optional
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
While the squash is baking, place the broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive over medium. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 30 additional seconds, until is fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom. Reserve the flesh for another use (or if you don't mind a super duper stuffed squash, mix it in with the rest of the filling). Stuff the kale quinoa filling into the squash halves, then return the squash to the oven. Bake at 375 degrees until hot, about 10 additional minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.
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