Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Hi friends. Sorry for being MIA yesterday. If you hadn't caught on yet, I've been trying to post a new recipe every Wednesday. I'm sure you all can understand why I chose to wait until today to post this week's recipe.
No matter what your view is, no matter your party preference, we're all feeling a bit strange right now. I've been contemplating about whether I should use this time to share my thoughts in depth with you, but I don't have the proper words to say. I've spent countless hours talking to friends, colleagues, and loved ones about our feelings and hopes for the future. Just know, that if you're feeling scared, confused, nervous, and downright sad, I stand with you. I'll stand for you. If you'd like to chat privately, I'm game. If you know me, call me. If you don't, shoot over a message. But for now, let's get to the good stuff.
GUYS IN 24 HOURS I LEAVE FOR PATAGONIA!!!!
In a literal sense, I've been waiting for this day for over 6 months (we booked our flights in May), but it feels like I've been waiting for it for years. I don't how I learned what and where Patagonia is, but it's been on my travel dream list since I was a teenager. Patagonia's beauty is so unique - you can stand at the top of a mountain starring at a tropical turquoise lake with panoramic views of snow-capped mountains in the distance. Seriously, go Google Image (is that a verb?) "Patagonia" and you'll see what I am talking about. I. Am. So. Excited.
For anyone unaware, Patagonia is the southernmost region of South America, sharing it's vast beauty with both Argentina and Chile. We opted to spend the entirety of our trip strictly in Argentina, mainly because we wanted to fly through Buenos Aires. Sometimes I keep forgetting that we have several days in the city before reaching Patagonia, and I am just as excited to experience another South American metropolis. I've only been to Rio de Janeiro and fell in love with the culture and beauty, so I am itching to get back and experience a new one.
Because it sits in the Southern Hemisphere, Patagonia is nearing its summer season. So as we make our way into autumn here in LA (or, not...hello 90° weather), I'll be spending the majority of my favorite season in reverse. No better way to prematurely close out fall (dramatic, I know...but by the time I get back it will already be Thanksgiving) then by cooking one of the most "fall" meals to exist - Stuffed Squash.
This stuffed squash is the perfect mix of comforting flavors, while still keeping things light and healthy. It's so hard not to fall into the trap of warm, comforting, and often unhealthy food this time of year, but if I can make my favorite meals healthy, without skimping on flavor, then what more could I ask for.
This meal is protein packed, easy to make in advance or for a large crowd, and pairs perfectly with a side salad for a well-rounded meal. You can mix and match your favorite herbs and spices to make it your own. Not a fan of thyme? Why not try basil! Prefer maple to honey? You do you!
Serving Size - 6
3 small acorn squash, halved with seeds removed (you can even make this work with 2 large squash if you're feeling extra hungry)
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 shallots, diced
1/4 cup + 6 tsp grated asiago cheese for sprinkling
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp thyme
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2.5 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp honey
salt & pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Drizzle the halved squash boats with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place face side down in a deep baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.
2. About 20 minutes before your squash is done, begin preparing the mixture.
3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté your shallots for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
4. Push aside the shallots and add in your ground turkey. Use a wooden spoon to consistently stir the meat to break it up and thoroughly cook. Once cooked through, season with garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper.
5. Add in the cooked quinoa, kale and pomegranate seeds, stirring to combine until kale is wilted.
6. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.
7. While squash finishes cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
8. Once finished cooking, remove the squash from the oven. Carefully flip, and use a serving spoon to evenly divide the mixture between the squash halves. Turn the oven temp up to 400°.
9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each half. Return to the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5-7 minutes.
10. Serve each half with a drizzle or two of vinaigrette and enjoy!
Anyway friends, thanks for reading about the good things coming up in my life. This week has been rough for everyone, and I appreciate you letting me chat about my trip for a little. We will be in Patagonia until Thanksgiving-eve, so there will be a bit of a hiatus for myself and coming recipes. Follow me on Instagram to check out our trip!
Let's remember to keep our heads high and continue stand together as one. Love to all.