Monday, November 14, 2011

Winter squash with Quinoa, fruit, nuts and a pomegranate drizzle

Okay, here is the first recipe where I used the pomegranate molasses.
I made stuffed small baked winter squash, called golden nugget, with a wonderful quinoa dish with fruit, nuts and seeds. Then I topped each with a drizzle of the pomegranate  molasses I shared in the last post.
 I made this with small gold nugget squash which are like little pumpkins. I received several in my CSA box   Quinoa and  winter squash are both nutrient dense and putting them together multiplies the nutrition. Quinoa, a seed which cooks up  like a grain, contains all essential  amino acids so it is a great source of protein. Winter squash are full of vitamins and fiber.

I roasted the squash and stuffed it with a delicious mixture of quinoa, cranberries, pepitas, pecans, raisins and pistachios.
You can make the quinoa recipe ahead of time or even as a stand alone dish.

Roasted winter squash  with Quinoa, fruit, nuts, & pomagranate molasses
Small sized winter squash, half squash per person
Oil,  Water,  Cinnamon and brown sugar
Quinoa stuffing with fruit and nuts ( see recipe below)

First make up the quinoa recipe (see below) and set aside

You may use any small squash such as acorn or the one I used here- Golden nugget squash or buttercup. Oil a baking dish and add a bit of water. Wash squash and cut in half. Remove seeds. (For golden nugget or other hard to cut squash you my pierce and pre-bake it whole for 20 minutes then cool slightly and continue with cutting in half and deseeding.)

If squash doesn’t lie fairly flat you may take a little sliver off the bottom so it will.  Place shell side up ( cut down)  in baking dish and cover with foil. Place in middle of 350 oven for about 30 minutes.

Take squash out of oven and remove foil. Turn them cut side up. Heat a ¼ cup butter (or a bit of coconut oil or olive oil if you are keeping this lactose free) and sprinkle with a bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and brown sugar.

Fill squashes to the top with quinoa. Don’t pack it down, leave it a bit fluffy. Bake for another 15 minutes and generously drizzle pomegranate molasses (see previous post) and  return to oven. After 5 minutes, check for doneness. Squash should be tender but still hold its shape. 

Squash is best eaten with a spoon so the stuffing and squash can be scooped out.

Quinoa with dried fruit, nuts and seeds

1 cup quinoa
1 ¼ cup water or broth
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) raw or pre roasted
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP butter, unsalted ( or for non-dairy, use all oil)
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
½ cup pistachios, shelled, roasted or raw
½ tsp EACH of coriander, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp or so salt
1 -2 tsp brown sugar
2-3 large chunks of candied ginger,minced, or 2 tsp. fresh ginger, crushed, optional
1 cup dried cranberries, sweetened
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup of lemon juice, fresh, about ½ a lemon

Start by rinsing quinoa. I buy pre rinsed when available but still make sure to rinse well to remove all of the bitter residue that is a naturally occurring pest and mildew deterrent.  I use a strainer and bowl to soak and rinse.
Next it is time to cook the quinoa. This time, I tried using our rice cooker which worked very well. Quinoa may also be cooked in a large pot with a tight lid if desired.  Add the butter, oil, nuts, fruit and spices  first then just add water and cook. But the rice cooker works wonderfully with little effort or checking making nice fluffy “grains.” Just cook as you would rice.
If the pepitas are raw, toast them while quinoa cooks. I like to toast in the oven with a bit of olive oil and salt. Bake for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees. If they are pre roasted just add them later
When quinoa is almost done, heat oil and butter in large pan. Add pecans and cook for a minute or so. If pistachios are raw, cook them at the same time. Add minced ginger, brown sugar, salt and spices. Cook one more minute. Add dried fruit and cook another minute or so. Stir in cooked quinoa and pepitas. Taste to see if you need to add more salt or spice.

Optional- drizzle of pomegranate  molasses


  1. That just looks so flavoursome, aromatic and heart warming, nice recipe! Thanks.

  2. This is a brilliant Autumn recipe. I love the taste of roasted squash :)

  3. This looks great. I make stuffed squash all the time, but have never thought to add pomegranate. Must try this!

  4. That sounds SO good! And crazy good for you too. I love when those two things collide!

  5. That looks so wonderfully comforting yet super-healthy and wholesome :) I'm bookmarking this!

  6. I really love this combination. Great use of the pomegranate molasses.

  7. Wow, everyone. loving the comments!! Thanks so much!! It made my morning to wake up and see all you lovely, talented fellow bloggers noticing my little recipe :-) I hope you try and enjoy this!

  8. This looks fantastic. I love quinoa and squash!

  9. This just sounds wonderful!

  10. This looks delicious! What a great way to make a sweet, healthy dessert!

  11. It looks so healthy! All vegetarians I know would flock to this meal! Great recipe!

  12. Love everything in it! Looks so perfect to me!

  13. Denise, this is absolutely beautiful! I've never eaten squash like this. Quinoa is something I have to try one day... I have a feeling that my husband and kids don't eat I need to check your pomegranate molasses!

  14. What a gorgeously healthy dish. Well done! :)

  15. I gave made last year squash stuffed with amaranth and I love your quinoa version. Such a delicious autumn dish!