Whoa, talk about power foods —this recipe for Delicata Squash Stuffed with Quinoa has got it all: squash, quinoa, carrots, onion, garlic, anti-inflammatory spices, pomegranate, and micro greens. I’m feeling healthier just talking about it.
Last year I was involved in a group called the 38 Power Foods blog group. Each week we came up with a recipe for one of the power foods that was listed in the book Power Foods: 150 Delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients; it’s from the editors at Whole Living magazine. I think everyone in the group enjoyed the weekly posts, learning about the health benefits of these nutritious foods we eat, and then developing recipes starring the power food. But I realized this morning that there were some flaws with this book: olive oil is not listed, nor are spices, or garlic. Many spices are highly anti-inflammatory, as are garlic and olive oil. How could these be forgotten?
Let me get back to the point of power foods. You don’t have to think too much to know that foods that come from the garden are good for us. Green vegetables are filled with chlorophyll which cleans and oxygenates the blood. Squash is packed with vitamin A which supports our vision and immune system. Garlic protects our bodies from oxidative stress and inflammation. And quinoa has two flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, that are said to be anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral and also to have antidepressant effects. The list goes on and on about the benefits from minimally processed power foods. Adulterating food by frying, adding preservatives and other chemicals, degrades their wonderful benefits. Doesn’t it make sense to respect the foods that nature offers so they can do their job of keeping us healthy and strong, or return us to a state of health? To that end, I offer you today my recipe for Delicata Squash Stuffed with Quinoa.
If you are interested in learning more about the properties of quinoa, check out this very informative article at Well-beingsecrets.com.
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Delicata squash, each about 7 inches long
- 1 medium large carrot
- 1 medium zucchini
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- ¾ cup quinoa
- 1-1/2 cup chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/2 cups micro greens
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°
- Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and grease it with 1-1/2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Use a chef knife and slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seed and discard them (unless you prefer to save them to roast later on).
- Lightly pepper the inside of the squash and then lay them cut side down on the cookie sheet.
- Next, wash and dry the carrot and the zucchini. Peel the carrot, and then slice both vegetable into thin coins no thicker than a nickel. You should have about 1 cup of each.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a small pan about 9x1/2 by 7-1/2, and spread it to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the sliced carrots and zucchini in the pan along with the ½ cup chopped onion and ¼ teaspoon onion. Stir it well and place the pan in the oven. Place the cookie sheet with the squash on it in the oven, too. Bake 33 to 40 minutes, and stir the vegetables every 10 minutes. (Check the squash after 30 minutes. When it is ready, you should easily be able it pierce through it with a sharp paring knife). Prepare the quinoa while the vegetables are baking.
- Place the spices together in a small bowl and set it aside.
- Sauté the ½ cup onion in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add the minced garlic when the onion starts to look translucent.
- Add the spices to the onion and stir it around for 7 seconds and then add the vegetable stock, raisins and the bay leaf.
- Place the quinoa in a sieve, rinse it with cold water and then add it to the stock. Allow it to simmer on medium low until all the water has evaporated; this will be approximately 13 minutes. When all the water has evaporated, remove the pot from the heat. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to rest until the squash and vegetables are ready.
- When the squash is cooked and the vegetables are tender, mix the carrot mixture with the quinoa.
- lace the squash facing up on a serving plate. Fill each squash half with the quinoa filling, and top each one with the micro greens, followed with the feta cheese and the pomegranate seeds, and then stir and drizzle 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of the lemon/olive oil dressing over the top.
Note for vegans - Omit the cheese and use vegetable Stock Heart Healthy Option – Omit the salt
Below is a list of the participants in the 38 Power Foods blog group: