In many Native American cultures, beans, maize and squash were planted
together in order to create a healthier growing environment and then
later to be eaten as a well-balanced meal. Together they were known as
the Three Sisters. This recipe incorporates
that idea with a healthy addition of quinoa – an Andean plant full of
iron, magnesium and protein, as well as a good source of dietary fiber
and phosphorous. With the harvesting season for the Sisters in late
summer, early fall, it is easy to get them from
your local farmer or tagged "locally grown” at your neighborhood
grocer. Quinoa can be picked up from most local food retailers.
If you are needing something for that vegan or gluten-free guest at
your next Thanksgiving dinner, this is the perfect dish. And even if
your pickiest of guests turn a questionable eye to the squash, there is
no way they wont enjoy the quinoa filling. It
can be served as a side dish or all on its own. In other words, this is
a dish everyone will enjoy. Also, save those squash seeds and roast
them up! They make a great topping to salads, yogurt or just as a
healthy afternoon snack.
In this recipe, we will be using an acorn squash, but feel free to
try a different winter squash. There are a wide variety and
experimenting with new, seasonal foods is great for you, the
environment, and your local farmers! Also, if you are wanting to keep
to the "Americas foods” theme, you can substitute cilantro for
culantro, which has a similar but stronger taste. I would recommend
using only half in ratio to cilantro.
What you’ll need:
1 acorn squash
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tbs oil (Sunflower or Olive)
1/3 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans
1 diced tomato
- Start by making a "lid” at the top of your squash. Clean it out
(remembering to save those seeds to roast for later!) and steam on
medium-high for 30 min.
- While your squash is steaming, take your
cup of quinoa and put it in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil
then leave to simmer for 15 min or until there is very little water left
in the pot. You will know your quinoa is ready because its "coils” will
- Add your oil, corn and beans. Stir with heat reduced to low.
- Right before you stuff the squash with the quinoa mix, add in the tomato, cilantro, and squeeze in that lime!
- Your squash should be softer but not quite fully cooked. Stuff
squash with the quinoa mix, making sure to leave enough room to put your
top back on. Wrap in tin foil and bake for 20-30 minutes on 375F. Check
at the 20 mark to see if it needs that extra
10 minutes. (Smaller squashes take a shorter time, larger ones a longer
- Take out and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve as a main course or as a side!
Serving Suggestion: As a side with a lightly seasoned grilled salmon and a side of green beans.
Submitted by Anne from Anne's Roost