½cupshredded parmesan cheesedivided in half (see note)
1tablespoonfresh chopped sage
⅛teaspoonfreshly ground black pepperto taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Start by rinsing the outside of each acorn squash to remove any debris. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice in half lengthwise from the stem to the pointed bottom. Do not cut through the stem. Use a spoon or grapefruit spoon to remove the seeds and stringy bits.
Drizzle one tablespoon of oil over the yellow flesh of the acorn squash. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Place cut side-up on a sheet pan. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. It's okay if it's not 100% done because it will go back in the oven again for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa by combining ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add diced leeks and sliced kale. Saute until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin seeds and saute a minute more. Remove from heat once pumpkin seeds are lightly browned.
Combine cooked quinoa, drained black beans, leeks, kale, pumpkin seeds, diced apple, fresh sage, ¼ cup shredded parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl.
Add ½ to 1 cup quinoa mixture to each roasted acorn squash. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup parmesan cheese evenly over each squash half.
Return stuffed squash to oven and cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and enjoy!
Parmesan cheese is often not vegetarian. You should be able to find vegetarian-labled shredded Parmesan at Whole Foods or other major grocery stores -- check this list for recommedations. Asiago cheese would also work well in this recipe.
These squash boats can also be made with butternut squash. The recipe instructions remain the same.
To reheat one serving of acorn squash: Cover the top of the squash with foil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until center is warmed through.
Extra quinoa stuffing can be enjoyed cold in a salad with leafy greens, or on its own. It will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.