stuffed spaghetti squash with quinoa, mint and nuts

opting for a vegetarian Thanksgiving round deux (2) my fabulous roommate/domestic partner and i spent Friday afternoon whipping up a delicious gluten-free veg thanksgiving meal.

brooke did most of the cooking, and check out her fabulous recipes at her blog, 608 kitchen (within days she was a better blogger than I was after several months of trying my hardest and still publishing typos and run-on sentences. plus, she’s got stunning visuals! what can you do.)

i decided to adapt this version of whole living’s Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios and made a stuffed spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash roasts quickly, and is easy to scoop from it’s shell. Since i’m lactose intolerant, i used goats cheese, but you can really use any crumbly cheese for this. also pistachios are expensive, but would add a nice twist to my recipe. the mint gives it a subtle sweetness that works with a hint of sweet from agave and fennel.

stuffed spaghetti squash with quinoa, sunflower seeds and walnuts
ingredients
1 large spaghetti squash (or other)
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup goats cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds and chopped walnuts

Dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon plus a bit of grated rind
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp dried mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey

instructions:

Heat oven to 425. Bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork.

While quinoa cooks, brush squash with  oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on a baking sheet or pan at 350 until tender 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, cheese, nuts. Whisk dressing with a fork in a small bowl, pour over the quinoa mixuture and combine well. Taste and re-season with salt and red-pepper flakes or anything else. for a sweeter flavor, opt for paprika, more fennel/mint/agave. Remove the sqash and carefully pack the stuffing into the sqaush. Press down with the back of a large spoon after each scoop. continue until the stuffing is heaping out of the squash.

Put the stuffed squash in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. For a crispy topping leave uncovered, for a softer squash, cover with foil.

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