Meatless Monday Meal Idea: Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Pilaf in Acorn Squash

This dish makes a beautiful presentation for a main course. It contains the highly nutritious grain, quinoa, which makes it an excellent one-dish meal!

Ingredients:
4 small acorn squash
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. Meanwhile, cut the squash in half, and scrape out the seeds and fibers. Place the squash halves cut sides down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash halves are almost tender when pierced with a small knife.

3. Cook the quinoa by stirring it into 4 cups of boiling water. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook. After 15 minutes, remove from the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes covered.

4. Heat the oil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Add the remaining ingredients and sauté until the bell peppers are soft for about 3-4 minutes. Next, add the quinoa to the pan, and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.

5. Fill the center of each squash half with a mound of pilaf. Place the filled squash halves in a baking dish with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil or a lid.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until squash are tender throughout. Remove from the oven, and enjoy!
Recipe inspired by Vegetarian Times

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