Roasted acorn squash with quinoa and mint salad [Vegan]

A delicious fall meal that brings a little hint of summer back into the season. This recipe highlights a bright and balanced salad of quinoa, apple, mint, raisins, and arugula set inside sweet and smooth squash. This is an excellent dish for a lunch or dinner, and is as rustic and beautiful as it is scrumptious.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

This recipe is inspired by Food and Wine.

2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
1 large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 ounces arugula (2 cups)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the inside of the squash halves with a little salt and pepper, and place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender.

2. As the squash is cooking, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the raisins and simmer, covered for about 5 more minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Pour the quinoa into a large bowl allow it to cool completely, stirring every so often.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, agave nectar and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the cooled quinoa and add the green apple, shallot, garlic, mint and parsley. Toss to thoroughly combine. Add the arugula and toss gently once or twice more.

4. After the acorn squash has cooled, cut just a little piece off the bottom of each squash half so that it will sit upright on a plate. Set the squash halves on plates and fill the cavity with the salad.

5. Serve and enjoy!

© Jaymi Heimbuch

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Recipes | The Cooking Project | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian