Sometimes dinner time turns into an episode of Chopped right in your own kitchen. This Kale, Quinoa, and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash can easily be customized with ingredients you have in your refrigerator and pantry for a simple, wholesome meal.
The holiday season can be stressful at times. Considering I haven’t even started any of my holiday shopping, let alone even figuring out what I am getting anyone, that is adding a little stress to my plate these days. Things have been very busy here at RDelicious Kitchen, so I like to escape to my happy place and stress reliever – the kitchen.
There is something so soothing about chopping, stirring, and the aroma in the kitchen. With my days being jam packed it has been leaving little time for simple things, like grocery shopping. This recipe was inspired as I was in my imaginary world of being on an episode of Chopped. When you haven’t gone grocery shopping in a little while, you have to get creative!
Time-saving tip: Whenever I make a batch of quinoa, I always make extra and freeze the rest. This whole grain freezes well and easily heats up so you don’t have to start from scratch every time you are making quinoa.
My kale was on its last legs in my fridge, so in the saute pan it goes! Kale is one of those leafy greens that even after washing and trimming can last long in the refrigerator. When it begins to wilt, that’s when I throw that kale in my smoothies or saute pan – no waste!
When building a recipe, look to add different textures to the dish. I added almonds (my balsamic roasted almonds, to be exact) which adds that crunch factor, but also adds heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein!
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice acorn squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place squash on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, flesh side down. Roast squash until for tender, about 30-50 minutes. (Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to the pan. Add kale and cook until slightly wilted. Add the balsamic vinegar and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in the quinoa, dried cranberries, and almonds, and cook until warmed through.
- Full acorn squash with kale, quinoa, and kale mixture and serve.
*for an extra kick of balsamic, add balsamic roasted almonds