Thursday, January 12, 2012

Unstuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Quinoa

I really should have taken some pictures of dinner while I made it and before I served it, however I prepped and cooked 90% of this meal one handed while the other hand held Stella (who is amazingly already 3 weeks old and still an angel of a baby!)  I call it "unstuffed" because I had originally planned on putting the stuffing mixture in the squash, but due to time, having 5 people to feed and only 4 squash halves, and my one-handed abilities, I opted to serve the stuffing next to the squash. 

Unstuffed Acorn Squash
For the acorn squash
2 acorn squash (cut each squash in half and scrape out the seeds)
1-2 Tablespoons ghee, butter, or butter substitute
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat oven to 400.  Put the squash, cut side up, in a 9x13 baking dish.  Place 1/4-1/2 tablespoon of ghee/butter in each half of the squash. Sprinkle the sage and garlic powder on each half of squash.  Roast in the oven for about 30-45 minutes.  The squash should be fork tender.  When done, you can either scrape the squash in to a serving bowl and discard the outer skins or serve the stuffing inside each half of acorn squash.
For the stuffing
1 pound Italian sausage (casings removed)
1 onion, chopped
4-6 ounces mushrooms, chopped (I used some mini portabella mushrooms that I had on hand, but the white button ones would likely work well too)
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 apple, chopped
handful or two of dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup quinoa--mix both in a pot, bring to a boil, simmer about 10-15 minutes)
salt and pepper to taste
While the acorn squash is roasting, cook the quinoa in a small pot.  Also, in a skillet, brown the sausage.  When sausage is cooked, remove it from the pan and pour off all but a couple of teaspoons of drippings (depending on the quality of sausage, you might not of much in the way of drippings).  Add the chopped onions and mushrooms to the skillet.  Saute for 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic powder, chopped apple, and dried cranberries.  Saute for 3-5 minutes.  Add the sausage back in to the skillet.  When the quinoa is cooked, add it to the skillet.  Mix it all up well and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the stuffing inside or along side the acorn squash.
This is a delicious meal all on its own or fabulous meal with a salad on the side.

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