Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Squash
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice each squash in half. Remove stem and scoop out the seeds.
Brush cut side with olive oil and place squash cut side up on a baking sheet.
Bake about 60 minutes until the skin easily indents with the touch of your finger.
While squash is baking, prepare filling.
Sauté shallot and mushrooms in a saucepan with butter or olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add quinoa and broth and cover the pan.
Let simmer 15 minutes for quinoa to cook (you should still have a little liquid left in the pan – if not, add a touch more broth).
Stir in kale, sage, salt, and pepper and stir-cook until kale is wilted.
Stir in pomegranate seeds.
Divide filling among the squash halves.
Traditions. I personally think that no matter your athletic aspirations or health inclinations, you shouldn’t forgo traditions. That being said, I also think you shouldn’t forgo your health. It’s a sticky dilemma. This dilemma can be solved with a few simple updates to traditional foods that bring back so many memories. Food experiences are often so intertwined with memories and experiences with loved ones that it’s hard to untangle them from emotional comfort and nostalgia.
I, too, cherish food traditions. I love a big golden turkey coming out of the oven for Thanksgiving just as much as I love that slice of pie. The tastes and smells of these particular foods put me in my grandparent’s kitchen, talking amongst my aunts and uncles, feeling loved. Just because you’ve adopted a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean it needs to be a different experience. Holidays are one of the occasions that I abide by an 80/20 rule, especially if I’m not in charge of the menu planning. I eat clean most of the time so my aunt’s signature holiday dessert can count for that 20% where I allow myself to not worry as much about what I’m eating. If you’re in charge of the menu, you can easily substitute a few healthier ingredients for traditional holiday foods or change up the menu a bit to accommodate your clean eating goals.
The following recipes are a full holiday meal spread of traditional fall foods made with clean ingredients. This meal accommodates serving about 6 to 8 but can easily be scaled up for a larger group. The full meal will take you about 2 to 2 ½ hours to prepare if only one person is cooking. I’ve included a few sequential notes to help with timing each dish at the end. On the menu: Roasted Cornish Game Hens, Marbled Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Squash, and Creamy Mushroom Green Beans with Crispy Shallots. For dessert, try a dairy-free pumpkin pie! I’m thankful to experience these traditions and share healthier foods with my family both near and far. The time spent bonding around the table with family is truly a time to be cherished.
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