Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

On June 6, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I tend to think of squash in October when front porches are getting filled with pumpkins and gourds and comfort food permeates the desire to stay warm as the weather cools down from the summer heat. While that may be the case through the years, I’m starting to change the behavior each time I enjoy squash outside of the Fall season.  Why relegate this flavorful food to only one season?  Just because it is most associated with comfort food. Isn’t comfort food something relevant all year?

In my challenge to this behavior, I was presented some beautiful acorn squash at the Studio City Farmers’ Market.  I picked one from the box of freshly picked squash and paid my $2.

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Roasting squash gives it such a beautiful color and really makes the ‘meat’ inside come to life. For this recipe, I simply brushed some olive oil and cracked some pepper and salt over each half after cleaning out the seeds.  You can follow what I did here with quinoa stuffing or you can mix it up. Feel free to use couscous or farro instead of quinoa.  Also any diced dried fruit works too.  Cranberries, apricots, go ahead and experiment for your own creation.  Or you can just do what I did if you want to guarantee success.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 2

1 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 tablespoons dried cherries, diced
1 celery stalk, think sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place acorn squash halves on foil and drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper the inside of the squash. Face the inside up on the baking sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Turn the squash over and cook for 10 minutes longer then remove and keep warm.

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Cook your quinoa according the package directions. You’ll need only a 1/2 cup of dried quinoa.  Once cooked set aside and keep warm.

When squash is ready, add the quinoa, celery and cherries a saute pan with a tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Let it cook for a few minutes.  Spoon the mixture into the roast squash.  Add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and 1 teaspoon of chopped mint on top of each squash. (Note: in my photo above I forgot to add the mint. Mint is optional, but preferred.)

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Coconut Rice with Butternut Squash

On December 30, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Coconut Rice with Butternut Squash
Serve 4-6

2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 butternut squash, cubed
3 tablespoons coconut yogurt
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cumin

Cut up the butternut squash into bite size cubes and place in a single layer in two vacuum seal packages. Cook for 90 minutes in the SousVide Supreme at 183 degrees.

Meanwhile add the rice into a rice cooker and fill water to the level for two cups of rice if using a cooker. If not using a rice cooker, add 4 cups of water to the 2 cups of rice.  Add the coconut milk and spices and stir together so there are no lumps from the yogurt.  Cook the rice in the rice cooker (or heat in a pan to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.)

Once the rice and squash are done, add the two together. Pour in a little olive oil and add some fresh cracked pepper. Serve.

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Tandoori Chicken Parcels

On March 5, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is a rather simple recipe that calls for filo dough, chicken, tandoori paste and yogurt.  You’ll need some ghee or oil oil for brushing the filo dough.  This is quick and easy though after making it tonight I think it could use some vegetables like some onions, carrots or even chickpeas with the chicken.

I used two store bought items. One for the filo dough and the other for the paste.

Marinate the chicken in the Tandoori marinade (paste) and yogurt for at least 30 minutes. I did it for about 8 hours having thawed the chicken overnight and diced the chicken into bite-sized cubes then coated in the marinade.  When ready lay out 3 layers of filo dough brushing each piece with oil or ghee.

Place a good scoop or two of the marinated chicken on to one-side of the filo dough.

Okay, not the most appetizing photo ever, but start folding the chicken three times folding the sides before the last fold.

After repeating this 3 or 4 times, add each parcel to a lightly ghee or oil coated oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  I baked these for 40 minutes uncovered and then add a loose piece of foil, to keep the parcels from burning, and cooked an additional 15 minutes.

The parcels should be a golden brown.  Plate and serve with an Indian side dish like Chana Dal and some rice.

Click here for the original recipe: Tandoori Chicken Parcels.

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