Quinoa Stuffed Mini Jack-O’-Lanterns or Halloween Peppers
Prepare the squashes:
If you’re going to bake them in a conventional oven, preheat it to 375ºF.
Slice off the bottom tip of the squashes to create a flat base. Cut off the tops and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Save the tops for later!
Use a pencil to draw the faces on the squashes, and use a small serrated knife to carve out the faces. Luckily, carving a small acorn squash is easier than carving a big pumpkin!
Brush a little olive oil all over the inside of the squashes and lightly sprinkle them with salt and black pepper. At this point you can choose to bake them in a conventional oven for an hour or until soft, or you can cook them in the microwave like I did. Place the squashes in a microwave safe bowl, add about 1/2 cup of water and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.
In the meantime, make the quinoa stuffing:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup vegetable broth
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes or until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and saute two more minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for just about 30 seconds.
Add the parsley salt, black pepper, quinoa, and vegetable broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. If the quinoa is still crunchy you can add more broth and simmer it for a few more minutes.
Spoon the quinoa stuffing into the acorn squashes and cover them with the reserved squash tops. Reheat the finished dish, if necessary, and serve. For Tiny Appetites: You can make those mini pumpkins instead of the bigger acorn squashes. You can stuff 6 to 8 mini pumpkins with this recipe, depending on their size.Halloweegan Peppers: You can also stuff a carved orange bell pepper. Carve, stuff, and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.