Here is a wonderful, hearty meal of vegetables that contains greens, apples, quinoa and acorn squash all dressed up with a tasty, maple/lemon flavored dressing. A one-dish, gluten-free meal that has it all.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing
yields 4 main dish servings
for the dressing:
- 1 garlic clove, peeled + smashed
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon hemp oil, or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt + pepper to taste
for the squash and apples:
- 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 2 crispy apples
- salt + pepper
for the kale and quinoa:
- 3-4 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 5-6 cups chopped lacinato/dino kale
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the dressing: Combine the smashed garlic, lemon juice, and oil in a jar. Seal and shake vigorously. Let sit for 10 minutes. Shake once more then remove the garlic. Add tahini, maple syrup, lemon zest, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Seal and shake until smooth. Taste and adjust salt/pepper/maple syrup if needed. Set aside. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.
For the squash and apples: Preheat your oven to 400* F. In a small pan combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and cayenne over medium-low heat and stir until melted. Take off the heat. Slice squash into appx. 1/4-inch round slices, using a large and sharp knife. Discard ends. Cut seeds out from each slice and place squash rings on 2 large baking sheets. Brush the oil mixture over both sides of the squash rings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 30-36 minutes, flipping once halfway through until desired doneness is reached. A few minutes later slice the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices, removing any seeds/core. Place on a baking sheet and toss to coat with remaining oil/maple mixture. Place in the oven during the last 7-10 minutes of squash roasting. Roast for 7 minutes to maintain a nice crunch.
For the kale and quinoa: As soon as the squash is in the oven heat a pot over medium with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Once hot add the quinoa and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the water then raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered. After placing your apples in the oven to roast place a large pan over medium heat and melt 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Once hot add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, then add the kale and stir frequently for about 3-5 minutes until wilted. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and combine in the pan with the quinoa. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine.
To assemble: Place quinoa on a large platter then place roasted squash rings on top then the apples and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Top with dressing or let guests take individual servings and dress themselves. I prefer to trim away the outer skin as I eat acorn squash, but serve/eat how you please.
—– other serving option —–
For stuffed squash: Slice 3 acorn squashes in half and coat the flesh with the same oil/maple mixture as specified for the squash and apples. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 35-40 minutes until tender. Fill with quinoa and kale mixture, chopped roasted apples, almonds, and then dressing.
For assistance on incorporating healthier meals into your diet, contact Christine Hunt for a free 15 minute consultation to learn how she can help you transform your wellness desires into reality.