Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

We don’t like to pick favorites when it comes to food but we’re sorry: Fall food is where it’s at!

We finally feel compelled to turn on the oven again and start roasting our veggies which always bring out their natural sweetness (we love some sweetness)!

This is also the season that brings us squash (pumpkins are included in that family).

There are a million and one ways to prepare a squash, steam it, braise it, roast it, toast it, but one of our favorites it STUFFED.

Below is the perfect Fall Recipe, Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.  This recipe is beautiful for dinner parties or your own special night with your honey (or friends!).  Enjoy!

What are your favorite fall recipes?  What are your favorite squash recipes?  Let us know in the comments below!
IMG_2001-51

Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Servings: 4
Time: 45 minutes

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into a small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into a small dice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Optional:

  • ½ cup chickpeas, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios (pine nuts would work well too)
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • Cheese – I recommend shredded raw goat cheese or crumbled feta

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on a baking sheet until fork soft. Depending on your oven this can range from 25-40 minutes.

Once squash is in the oven prep all vegetables as mentioned above.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 1 ½ cups water, 1 teaspoon sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat and simmer covered until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

To make the vegetable sauté heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add zucchini, chickpeas, sage and thyme and any additional vegetables nd continue to cook until everything is softened and brown.

To assemble stuffing fold together vegetable sauté, cooked quinoa, pistachios, red pepper flakes and parsley.

Taste and add salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if needed.

Fill squash with stuffing and top with cheese if using. Serve with an additional sprinkle of parsley.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

Amie Valpone’s Summertime Sesame Brown Rice Bowl #SaladFest2013

Amie Valpone‘s culinary creativity is literally off-the charts.  We are recent friends butamie long time fans and admirers of the kitchen concoctions that this woman comes up with!  No one puts unexpected flavors and ingredients together with boldness and verve quick like The Healthy Apple.

It’s not enough that she thinks outside the box coming up with totally original recipes for seasonal veggies, snacks and baked good alike BUT…

Pretty much all of her recipes are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Soy-Free.  The Healthy Apple is literally mecca for foodies with dietary restrictions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, go to her site, look around and you’ll be amazed at what you find!  Amie is endowed with endless inspiration!

Click HERE to spread the word about Amie’s Summertime Sesame Brown Rice bowl with the super special ingredient: Cherries.

amie valpone brown rice salad

Summertime Sesame Brown Rice Bowl
Servings: 2-4
Time: 1 hour
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup organic brown rice
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
Directions

In a medium saucepan, boil water with salt and pepper. Stir in rice; return to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Remove from heat, add spinach and onions; mix well to combine. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl; add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

———

The Healthy Apple was started by Amie Valpone, a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Marketing Consultant, Whole Living Expert, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in simple Gluten-Free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook.  For recipes like Amie on Facebook and to join the conversation follow her on Twitter.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

Free Up Your Fridge Frittata

You know that moment when you realize you have about five foods in your fridge that are on the fritz and you have no what what to do with them?  You don’t want to waste them, but if you don’t act fast they’re all going to end up dying a sad veggie death…

We’ve been there too!  So we created the ultimate Cooking Camp solution – Frittata-fy them!

That’s right, free up your fridge by taking all your leftovers, whether they be random ingredients or leftovers from another meal, and give them a masterful makeover by putting them all together in a simple frittata.

If you want to make this recipe uniquely your own check out the Health Cooking Basics Cookbook for 5 stellar (yet simple) ingredient swaps.

free up your fridge fritatta

Free Up Your Fridge Frittata
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 6-8

  • 10-12 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (or any leafy greens)
  • 1⁄2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved OR ANY VEGGIES YOU HAVE!
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro or sage or 2 teaspoons dried herbs like Italian Seasoning or herbs de Provence

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Separate egg whites and yolks into separate bowls. Beat egg whites in a mixing bowl until frothy. Then whisk in egg yolks to combine. Add salt, pepper and 1⁄2 the herbs then stir. Set aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet add olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add in the onion, season with salt and pepper and sauté until golden brown. Add in the garlic, spinach and remainder of the herbs. Continue to sauté until the greens have completely wilted.

Pour in egg mixture so that the vegetables and eggs are distributed evenly throughout then drop in the tomatoes, cut side up.

Let cook undisturbed for 5-7 minutes or until the edges are set and just getting brown, but the interior part is still slightly wobbly when you shake the pan.

Put the entire pan in the oven and cook for another 10-12 minutes until the frittata has set completely. Take out of the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

Cauliflower, Parsnip + Apple Puree

Here are 3 reasons to make this recipe:

1.  It basically needs 3 ingredients and it tastes like heaven.

2. It’s a much healthier (and may we dare say, tastier?) alternative to mashed potatoes.

3. All the ingredients are in season, making it THE perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

Cauliflower, Parsnip & Apple Puree
Servings: 6-8
Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 apple
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh herbs, as garnish

Directions 

Cut up the apple, parsnips and cauliflower into bite size pieces. Then put them into a steamer and steam for 12-15 minutes until very soft.  Test with a fork, if it goes through with ease, they are done.

Transfer cauliflower, parsnip and apple to a food processor, add butter, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.  Adjust to taste and garnish with fresh herbs.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

Recipe: Black Bean Pasta with Butternut Squash “Cream” Sauce

This recipe is one of our absolute favorites.  We literally make it all the time. Robyn makes it as a quick week night meal and Quinn even uses it to impress her suitors.  (fyi: it works like a charm)

Not only is it delicious, beautiful and FAST but it it’s mostly made from pantry staples! 

It also employs one of the many Quick Cooking Tips you’ll learn in Rock the Kitchen: throw your greens or veggies into the pasta cooking water for quick cooking and to avoid using yet another pot/pan.

You have to try this recipe and let us know what you think down in the comments!

Black Bean Pasta with Butternut Squash “Cream” Sauce
Servings: 4
Time: 10 minutes
  • 1 can butternut squash puree
  • 1 package of black bean pasta (such as Explore Asia’s black bean spaghetti)
  • 2-4 cups of washed baby spinach
  • 1 large sweet white onion, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine (can swap for vegetable stock but it adds a nice flavor)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried tarragon (or basil, cilantro, sage or parsley)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Sprinkle of parmesan or vegan cheese such as Daiya or nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions
Cook pasta according to the package instructions.  About 2 minutes before it’s done, throw in a couple handfuls of spinach and allow it to cook down in the water.

To prepare the sauce, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil on medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes until soft.   Season with salt and pepper.

After the onions become soft, deglaze the pan with white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.  This gets up all the good bits of flavor.

Add the vegetable stock, butternut squash and tarragon to pan and season with salt and pepper again, then stir to combine.

Reduce heat and allow the sauce to thicken to desired consistency.  If it’s bubbling you can put a lid on, just leave it slightly ajar.

When the pasta is done drain it in a fine mesh colander and run it under cool water to stop the cooking process.   Top the pasta with sauce and a little bit of cheese, if desired.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program