So if you haven’t tried Kobacha squash yet I suggest you drop everything and go to the store right now to get yourself one! It is sweet and nutty all at the same time. My hands are literally orange because I eat so much of it. I know it sounds insane but I have a hard time with the concept of “moderation” when it comes to this delectable veggie. In keeping with the holiday theme I wanted to make an easy and pretty side dish that would compliment any meal!I love wild rice with nuts and dried fruit – it always reminds me of the holidays. But I wanted to ramp up the nutrition value with my “wild rice” in this recipe. So I went with quinoa. It’s packed with protein and it is not even considered a grain. It’s actually a seed! It also has a fair amount of Omega-3s, taking care of your daily dose 🙂 It happens to taste really good as well. A lot of the time people don’t like their quinoa results because they forget to rinse it before cooking. Quinoa has a slight bitterness to it so its important to rinse it to get rid of its bitter outside coating.I love the idea of stuffing my all time favorite squash with this veggie loaded quinoa. I added pomegranate seeds on top to offer a little more bite and a pretty pop of color. It not only looks pretty but it actually tastes just as good as it looks!I teamed up with Dig Inn – an NYC restaurant focused on seasonal local ingredients. They are a farm-to-table restaurant, which you can really taste in dishes they serve. It is my go-to lunch spot when I am out and about in the city. I am constantly inspired by their use of seasonal ingredients. That is why I was so excited to use Kobacha squash. It is in its high season right now.This quinoa dish is amazing on its own but is on a whole other level when paired with the squash! Don’t worry- it is not as fancy or as complicated as it looks so have no fear to give it a try!
Recipe -preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 1 medium size kabocha squash
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (be sure to rinse it before cooking)
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped apricots
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup pomogranent seeds
- dash cinnamon
- dash allspice
- salt to taste
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with non-stick spray. Cut Kabocha squash in two even halves. Scoop out the center. Place face down and cook for 30-45 minutes or until soft. Be sure you do not over cook it as you want it to still have texture and hold up. Note: Cooking time is dependent on the size of the squash so keep an eye on it.
- Place a medium size pan over medium to high heat and spray with non-stick spray add carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
- Add quinoa and seasonings – cinnamon, allspice and salt- to the pan. Mix together and cook for 5 minutes, tossing it every so often.
- Now add kale, raisins, apricot and pumpkin seeds. Cook for an additional couple of minutes. Once everything is cooled, mix in pomegranate seeds. Place quinoa into the center of your cooked kabocha squash and serve! You can warm it in the oven before serving but you may want to omit the pomegranate seeds and top it with them before serving.