Archives for squash

Quinoa and Zoodle Dinner

This is the coolest kitchen tool I’ve purchased in 2013. I love it! Dan and I frequent the local vegan restaurants and they’ve all started using this tool when creating their dishes. I knew I needed to find a way to get one too! Thank you Amazon. ­čÖé


This dish was pretty quick and easy to make and its packed with protein and veggies too!

You’ll need:

3/4 c. rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
1 clove of pressed garlic
1/2 c. chopped kale, spinach or other greens
1/2 c. canned butternut squash pur├ęe

1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. of chopped onions
1 clove of pressed garlic
1/4 to 1/2 c. of water
1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
2 diced and seeded tomatoes
few dashes of salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

4 small green zucchini (you could also just use spaghetti squash, or pasta)

Start cooking rinsed quinoa, with water and garlic in a saucepan on medium heat. Cover and cook for about 14 minutes once it starts to simmer, turning heat to low if needed. While the quinoa cooks, you can start the sauce!

In a shallow saucepan, heat olive oil with chopped onions and pressed garlic. Once the onions are translucent, add ~ 1/4 to 1/2 c. of water (depending on how thick you like your sauce). Add tomato paste, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add a few dashes of salt, and dried herbs. Keep heat on low and stir occasionally. Add more water for a thinner sauce.

By now the quinoa should be done cooking. Scoop out a 1/2 c. of the sauce with a measuring cup and pour it over the cooked quinoa. Also add the butternut squash and greens at this time. Mix well. Salt to taste if desired and mix again.

Using a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop, measure out the quinoa balls onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I was able to make 20 balls with this recipe. Bake at 350┬░F to 10-15 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and golden brown.

This is a perfect time to make your zucchini noodles! Once they are all cut into noodles, place in a saucepan and spray with a little olive oil and sprinkle a few dashes of salt. Cover and let cook on med-low heat for roughly 5-10 minutes, depending on desired  tenderness. I prepared ours al dente!

Plate the zucchini first, topping with tomato sauce and 5-6 quinoa balls.

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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chili

I whipped up this recipe tonight when I realized I didn’t have a can of great northern beans in the pantry like I thought! My dinner plans took a swift turn into chili-land when I decided dark red kidney beans went best with acorn squash. (I mean really, my other choices were black beans and garbanzo. No. Brainer. Although now that I think of it… the black beans could have worked too! Hmmmm… another day.) Anyway, this was quick to put together and the chili is a smaller, similar take on my “famous”┬áVegetarian/Vegan Chili.

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This dish can serve 2-4 depending if you serve it with sides or not.

2 small acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed

1 – 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c. onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/4 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 fresh tomato on the vine, chopped and seeds removed
1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
12 oz. water (use the tomato paste can to measure to get out the extra!)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375┬░F

Fill a 12″x9″ baking pan with water until it’s a 1/4″ deep. Place the prepared acorn squash face down in the water and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes; or until a fork easily pokes through the outer skin.

While the squash is cooking you can prepare the chili. I did mine all in one medium saucepan, on medium heat. Heat the olive oil in the saucepan until it gets that awesome olive oil smell. Add the onions and garlic and stir well, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Once it comes to a boil (you may have to turn up the heat, depending on your pan to get it to boil), reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

By this time your squash should be ready. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes before handling, or use a spatula to transfer to a plate or bowl. Fill the center of the acorn squash with chili, serve and enjoy! I’m actually eating it right now as I type up this post! It turned out well! I like that the acorn squash balances out the spice of the chili. I’m not a spicy food lover, but I can take a little kick. ­čśë