acorn squash with quinoa asparagus and radicchio
So excited to see winter vegetables, pumpkins, apples and squash in the market this week! That combined with a drizzly afternoon inspired me to create this fall dish for lunch. The Autumn inspired Vinaigrette adds a sweet zesty finish to the dish.
Two medium size winter squash. Because of their size, Acorn, Delicata or Kabocha varieties work best for this dish.
2 tablespoons ghee or grapeseed oil
1 cup tri colored quinoa, soaked overnight rinsed and drained *see chef’s note
1 pound of asparagus, ends trimmed
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups of radicchio, thinly shredded
¼ cup pepitas
½ cup Braggs apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, lengthwise, scoop out and discard pulp and seeds. Brush the inside and edges with melted ghee. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. In a small saucepan, place 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups of water or vegetable stock and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Wisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, shallots and grain mustard. Set Aside. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, sauté shallots one minute. Add asparagus and sauté for three minutes-until asparagus is tender. Add the quinoa, radicchio and vinaigrette, toss until well combined. Divide the quinoa mixture between the four squash halves. Finish with pepitas. Serve immediately.
Soaking nuts, seeds, legume & grains prior to cooking (generally overnight) and rinsing well removes the Phytic acid (phytate) that all seeds contain. The acid serves as the main storage form of phosphorus in the seeds. When seeds sprout, phytate is degraded and the phosphorus released to feed the sprout/young plant. Unfortunately, for many of us Phytic acid is difficult to digest. It is also considered an “anti-nutrient” because it can bind minerals in the gut before they are absorbed and influence digestive enzymes. Phytates also reduce the digestibility of starches, proteins, and fats.
Quinoa is a seed (not a grain as is commonly thought) It is a protein “super food” containing 24 grams per cup! Quinoa is also a very good source of B-complex group of vitamins, vitamin E and essential fatty acids such as linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid It is an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells.