An earlier post paired this with a black bean and pumpkin enchilada but this squash would be a great side to any stew.
Not enough “heat” for your taste? Add curry powder.
Baked Quinoa Cherry Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well *
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Arrange the halves in a large baking dish, flesh-side up.
Whisk together the vinegar and maple syrup in a cup. Brush the flesh side of the squash halves with some of the maple mixture and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Put the squash flesh-side down in the baking dish, then brush the skin side with maple mixture and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast on a rack in the middle of the oven until the squash is fork-tender, approximately 50 minutes. Poke the inside of the squash halves with a fork and brush generously with more of the maple mixture, allowing the mixture to seep inside the squash.
Saute the onions in a small amount of water until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the quinoa, curry powder, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until the spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the dried cherries and the remaining maple mixture.
Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Don’t have quinoa on hand? Try substituting cooked brown rice, adjusting cooking time and the amount of water accordingly. I often use leftover rice in my recipes.
You might also consider substituting other dried berries for cherries – whatever you have on hand!