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Roasted Acorn Squash with Kale and Quinoa

Sofia Mendoza Developed by Sofia Mendoza
Food and Finance High School, New York, NY

Third Place, 2014 AICR/C-CAP Healthy Appetizer Contest Winner
Sofia received a $2,000 scholarship

Return to the Test Kitchen

  • 4 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2½ Tbsp. lime juice, divided
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 small (about 1 lb. each) acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 4 cups chopped kale leaves

Roasted Acorn Squash with Kale and QuinoaIn medium bowl, mix together rice vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice and honey. Add garlic and ginger, whisk briskly. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste and let sit 5 minutes. Gradually add 2 tablespoons olive oil and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Cut just enough off both ends of squash so they lay flat on baking sheet. Using spoon, remove fibers and seeds from center of squash halves. With paring knife, score flesh of squash.

Lightly brush inside and top of squash halves with remaining olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until fork can easily pierce flesh. Remove from oven and lightly brush with 1 tablespoon of prepared ginger-lime dressing.

In small pot, combine rinsed and drained quinoa with 1 cup water. Bring to boil, cover and let simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and add red pepper and blueberries, reserving a few blueberries for garnish. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Over medium heat in large skillet, add 2 tablespoons water and kale. Cover and steam kale for 2 minutes, just until wilted. Remove from heat and place kale in medium bowl. Add quinoa mixture and toss with remaining ginger-lime dressing.

To serve, place each squash half on plate or soup bowl. Fill each half with kale and quinoa salad and garnish with reserved blueberries. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 224 calories, 7 g total fat, (<1 g saturated fat), 42 g carbohydrate,
5 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 31 mg sodium.

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