Squashing the Summer Blues with Quinoa Stuffed Squash

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It may be Local Summer in my Jersey Shore town, but sadly Fall will be arriving on Thursday this week. Shorter days, jackets, and pumpkin everything are here. Mr E and I are the first to admit we are not fans of the changing seasons.  But there are still a fews ways to slowly transition into the colder weather, and the first starts with food. These quinoa stuffed squash are a great way to start the move into the new season.

Summer squash is typically in season May-October. One of the best parts about these months is visiting local farm markets for fresh local fruit and veggies. My summer squashfavorite farm market near me has some phenomenal squash, and I was stoked to find these chubbier squash- perfect for stuffing! Summer squash is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, manganese, and antioxidant-producing lutein, zeaxanthin and betacarotene. And once the protein-rich quinoa gets added in, you have a balanced meal all loaded into one squash. This quinoa stuffed squash makes a great side dish, or can even be the star of its own meal.

I am often looking for new side dishes to make at home. While Mr. E is definitely a fan of starches at dinner, he knows that there’s no getting out of having a veggie as well. And before getting married, a starch side dish for him always involved rice or a potato. His grain world was busted open once he married me. He will be the quinoa stuffed squashfirst to admit quinoa is not his favorite, often describing it as bland or grainy. But, when I made these quinoa stuffed squash for the first time, he actually admitted it has been his favorite way of having quinoa so far. His exact words were, “I don’t typically like squash or quinoa, but this was not bad.” One point for the dietitian!

quinoa stuffed squashGive these a shot while the weather is still bordering on the warmer side, and enjoy the opportunity to still enjoy a little taste of summer. Just like fashions can straddle seasons, food can too!

RECOMMENDED REGISTRY ITEMS: baking sheet, chef’s knife

Try these out and share what your quinoa or veggie doubters think! Give a shout in the Comments below.

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Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 boats

Ingredients

  • 3 summer squash
  • 3 TB olive oil divided evenly
  • Fresh ground pepper for seasoning
  • 1 C vegetable stock
  • ½ C quinoa
  • 1 C crimini mushrooms chopped
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 sprig thyme finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ C grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB basil chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Halve the squashes lengthwise, then scoop out the seedy area with a spoon. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a large pinch of pepper. Place in the oven, cut side down, and roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and golden brown on the bottom.
  3. While the squashes roast, bring the veggie stock to a boil in a small pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop the mushroom caps and stems. Mince the shallot and garlic. Strip the leaves off the thyme sprig and finely chop.
  5. Heat 1 TB olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, tossing, 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add 1 TB olive oil, mushrooms, and thyme to the pan. Cook another 5-6 minutes, until very soft and cooked down. Add the garlic and cook 30-seconds, until fragrant.
  6. Add the cooked quinoa to the pan and toss to combine.
  7. When done, remove the squashes from the oven and stuff with as much quinoa mixture as will fit.
  8. Heat the broiler to high or oven to 500ºF. Sprinkle squash boats with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until cheese is golden brown and melted, about 3 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the squash boats with basil and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If there is extra quinoa mixture remaining, plate and serve the squash boats on top of the quinoa. This recipe will make 6 servings.

These reheat easily in the oven at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes. Perfect side dish for weeknights!

This recipe was adapted from Hello Fresh

Nutrition Info

1 boat= 189 calories, 11g fat (3g sat fat), 17g carbs, 2g fiber, 8g protein, 197 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)

DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are not influenced or biased by any third parties. I am not compensated for mentioning any specific brands or retailers on this blog.