Quinoa & Vegetable Stuffed Pumpkins

Bring Fall to the table with quinoa and vegetable stuffed pumpkins (or acorn squash). When we created these, the little sugar pumpkins were not in season so we used acorn squash which was equally delicious. Don’t forget to tell your guests to scrape the inside of the pumpkin or squash along with the other ingredients to fully enjoy the dish.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 small sugar pumpkins (or small acorn squash)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fennel, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chile pepper, chopped (remove seeds if you want to reduce spiciness)
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme, stems removed and roughly chopped just before adding to dish
  • 3 tbps coconut aminos
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prepare Squash/Pumpkins:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Carefully cut "lids" off the pumpkins or squash and remove seeds
  3. Rub inside with olive oil and salt and roast pumpkin/squash and the lids on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 1 hour or until you can easily pierce the base of the pumpkin with a knife
  4. Set cooked pumpkins aside
Prepare Filling:
  1. Heat a large cast iron pan or dutch oven on medium heat
  2. Add coconut oil to the pan
  3. When almost sizzling, add onion and turn heat down to medium-low
  4. Cook onions until they are translucent
  5. Add cumin, carrots and fennel and sauté for 2 minutes
  6. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute
  7. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, red pepper and chile pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes (remember, all these ingredients will bake again in the oven so they don't have to be completely cooked through at this stage)
  8. Add coconut aminos and vegetable stock; stir into the filling and let the liquid evaporate (2-4 minutes)
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in fresh thyme and lemon juice
  10. Stir in the cooked quinoa
Stuff Pumpkins & Bake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spoon the filling into each pumpkin and top with pumpkin lids
  3. If filling is hot, bake for 15 minutes. If filling has been made ahead and refrigerated, bake for 30-40 minutes until filling is warmed through
  4. Serve immediately or at room temperature

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