Curried Quinoa Stuffed Honey Nut Squash

Real talk. When I first bought these little honey nut squashes, I called the baby butternut squash.  So if you want to call them that too, no problem. To be technically correct, they are honey nut squash and they taste like butternut but a little sweeter. They are also a lot easier to manage and breakdown. Double win. 

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The thing I love about winter squash is that is can either go sweet or savory and be totally delicious. Add cinnamon, coconut oil and bake? Tastes like pumpkin pie. Add curry powder or garlic? Tastes Indian or Italian. So versatile! I played off both sweet, salty, and savory for this dish which I think you will love. 

Recipe: (serves 6)

Ingredients: 

-3 Honey Nut squash

-½ cup water

-1 Tbsp. avocado oil

-1 cup of onion, chopped

-¾ cup leeks, chopped

-1 small Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, diced

-1 tsp. curry powder

-1.5 tsp. cumin

-1.5  tsp. salt

-1 tsp. pepper

-1 bag of Trader Joe’s fully cooked microwave-in-bag quinoa (about 1 cup cooked)

-½ cup dried cherries

-⅓ cup pistachios shelled

-dash of red chili flake (optional)

-2 slices Swiss or cheddar cheese

Directions:

-Pre-roast/steam 3 honey nut squashes.

Two methods: Instant Pot: Poke holes and add to ½ cup water. Steam on high for 4-5 minutes. I put in whole and cut after steamed. Oven method: Cut each honey nut squash, clean out middle and remove seeds. Roast in a casserole dish at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

-Set aside partially roasted or steamed honey nut squashes cup in halves. Place them inside up in a casserole dish.

-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. while you prep the stuffing.

-To a non-stick pan that is placed on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. avocado oil, 1 cup of onions, 3/4 cup leeks, 1 small apple (diced), 1 tsp. curry powder, 1.5 tsp. cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook down until soft on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

-For the quinoa, I use Trader Joe’s fully cooked quinoa which I microwaved for three and a half minutes and let sit in the the bag for two. Once the quinoa was cooked, I added it to a large bowl as well as the onion, leek and apple mixture. I mixed this and add 1/3 cup dried bing cherries and 1/3 cup shelled pistachios. Mix again until fully combined and add a final season of 1/2 tsp. Salt added a little red chili flake (optional).

-Once the mixture is combined fully,  add about 1/3 cup mixture to each half of the honey nut squash. Right in the middle that is hollowed out that looks like a compartment.

-Cut two slices of swiss or cheddar into long strips and place them on top of each half like a lattice.

-Bake at 375 degrees F for another 25 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 266 calories, 39 grams carb (7 fiber), 10 grams fat, and 8 grams protein. 

MACROBALANCED TIP: Pair this with your lean turkey this Thanksgiving week for a healthy meal on the big day or leftovers night! 
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