This is a warming, comforting and grounding meal perfect for cold, dark evenings. Squash is high in vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamin B6 – all nutrients we require in order for the nervous system to feel calm and relaxed, as well as contributing to immune health. Whilst it’s in season, make the most of varieties that span beyond butternut squash, such as the green Crown Prince, Acorn Squash, Kabocha Squash or Spaghetti Squash. Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D – something most of us lack especially throughout the Winter months – and quinoa is a great option for those who follow a plant-based diet, because it is a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. This stuffed squash recipe is easy to make but looks great on the table. Serve alongside purple cauliflower mash for an eye catching meal, as a main of its own, or with seasonal Brussels sprouts.
- 1 small squash
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 6 good sized chestnut mushrooms
- ½ cup red wine (or stock)
- 1 tbsp ghee
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 handful chestnuts, crushed in to small pieces to top
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C
- Cut the squash in half, then scoop out the flesh and seeds (save the seeds to roast, or dry them, then store in a dark jar or envelope so you can plant them next year to grow your own)
- Rub a little ghee or coconut oil onto the inside edges of the squash, then place with the open sides up in the oven to bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until tender
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottomed pan
- Chop the onion and garlic, then add to the pan with the paprika and cumin for a couple of minutes
- Roughly chop the mushrooms, then add to the pan and cook for roughly 10 minutes, stirring well
- Add the red wine or stock, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and leave to cook slowly.
- 5 minutes before the squash is ready, add the cooked quinoa, salt and pepper to the pot and stir
- When the squash is cooked, remove from the oven, then scoop out a serving into each squash half
- Top with crushed chestnuts (either pre-roasted or the cheat’s Merchant Chestnuts instead)
- Serve with a handful of fresh herbs, as a main meal or alongside cauliflower mash or seasonal brussels sprouts.