RECIPE. Nov 9, 2010

Quinoa Pork Stuffed Squash

It was raining, pouring rain and the daylight savings time had decreased my evening light. I was feeling the full blow of fall on my doorstep and lack of inspiration in my kitchen. I haven’t had much spare time, due to a 6 week old in our house, to get caught up on my food porn. After a quick look in the fridge I had leftover quinoa, beet leaves, ground pork and a whole slew of squash from the garden that were currently housed in our basement. Then I recalled a dinner with our neighbors where they served the most incredible dish. I had requested the recipe and she had provided. While I was in love with their version, I decided to change the ingredients to accommodate what I had at home.

The sweetness of the squash is perfect compliment to the tart beet leaves and neutral quinoa. Spicing the pork with curry and cumin creates a bit of spice without overpowering the squash.The beet leaves can easily be substituted for bok choy, spinach, kale or chard. The dish is delightfully simple and takes very little time to prepare but will likely impress any guests or even your own family if presented well. It is a hearty dish, full of protein, vegetables and essential vitamins. It is also very inexpensive to make for a bigger crowd.

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange squash cut side down in a baking pan. Add 1/2 inch of water to the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until the squash are tender, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven. Take butter and cut in half, put each half inside squash. Add brown sugar/maple syrup after butter has melted.

Cook pork and garlic in skillet. When pork is almost done cooking, add beet leaves and cook about 2-3 min, add olive oil if needed. Add spices and quinoa. Cook another 1-2 min and remove from heat. Scoop portion into squash about 1-1.5 cups. Consume!