Quinoa and Lentils in Golden Squash


4 small winter squashes (golden acorn or delicata)

1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed (regular or red may be used)

1 1/2 cups prepared

vegetable broth or water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced

1/3 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh or jarred ginger, to taste

1 (15-16 ounce) can lentils, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley




1. First, bake the squashes until tender but still firm enough to hold their shape. Preheat oven to 375 degrees; cut away any large stems, then cut the squash in half. Places the halves cut side up in a foil-lined shallow baking dish and cover tightly with more foil. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until you can just pierce the flesh with a fork or knife.

(If you don't have a knife sharp enough to cut through the squash, place the whole vegetable in the foil-lined baking dish, cover loosely, and bake 15 minutes.)

2. When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scoop out and discard seeds. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a sturdy shell of about 1/2 inch all around. Chop the pulp finely.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the quinoa with the broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and saute over medium heat until the onion is golden. Add the cooked quinoa, orange juice, and seasonings. Stir together and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, then gently stir in the lentils and half the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Stuff each squash half generously with the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle each with the remaining parsley. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then serve.



Per serving:

391 calories, 17 grams protein, 70 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams sugar, 5 grams fat, no cholesterol, 158 milligrams sodium, 21 grams dietary fiber.

Michael Klein