Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apple and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

While I loved my power yoga class on Sunday, it actually left me kinda sore this time around.  My leg sockets were very tight and sore, I think maybe from doing Frog position.  For those of you who don't know, this is what frog looks like:
(Source)

If you are thinking ouch, that is the correct reaction.  I'm not a huge fan of the position, even though it's probably good for me to be stretching in any way I can.
I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm not very flexible.  I actually dread when I have to sit with my legs straight out in front of me and try to touch my toes, because I really can't do it most of the time.  It may have to do with the fact that I have fairly long legs and a really short torso.  It makes it really hard for me to bend in half.

So with the soreness from yoga, I made the decision Monday not to run even though I had been planning to.  I stayed in and caught up on Tivo and ate more leftover pumpkin chili.

 By last night, I was dying to get outside and run, even if it was just a short one.  I'm planning on doing 5 miles tonight, so I didn't want to go overboard, but figured a quick speed work type run, would be good.

I got in 2.71 miles in 26:10 minutes.
Mile 1- 9:57
Mile 2- 9:34
Last .71- 6:37

I didn't do too well with coming out with a nice round number.  I had been thinking about running 2.5, but my loop hadn't finished when I got to 2.5, so I just kept going and opted not to turn the Garmin off.  Whatever!

I have some good news!  It's actually feeling like fall in Charlotte this week!  
That's a huge change from the 90+ temps I was dealing with on Saturday at Oktoberfest.  It's in the 70's and it's LOVELY!

In honor of the actual arrival of fall, I decided to make a fall inspired dish for dinner last night.
I kind of thought this one up on my run and then made it happen. 

We'll call this Apple and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.

1 acorn squash
1/2 cup of quinoa
1 cup stock
1 diced apple
1 tablespoon of cinnamon, plus more
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or agave)
pumpkin butter (optional)
warmed coconut butter

Directions
First, preheat the oven to 375.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet or shallow pan with olive oil.  Cut your acorn squash in half and put it cut side down on the pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse quinoa in sieve.  Place in pot with stock, cinnamon, and brown sugar and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for about 8 minutes.  Add your diced apple and continue cooking another 8 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
At this point, you can take your squash out, even if it hasn't been quite 30 minutes.  I actually added about a tablespoon of pumpkin butter into the squash, then drizzled each half with maple syrup and shook some cinnamon on them.  Then I stuffed each half with the apple quinoa mixture, and put them back in the oven about 10 more minutes to bake together.  I finished each half with a drizzle of warmed (in the microwave) coconut butter.  Yum!  It was sweet and cinnamonny.

I actually think chickpeas would be good in this too.  Perhaps roasted with cinnamon or pumpkin spices?  I thought about doing that, but ran out of time!
I ate kind of late, and then scrambled around to clean up a bit, because my friend Cindi was stopping by for drinks after she got out of work!  I'm so glad she lives close by.  It makes these impromptu meet-ups easy and fun :)

I gave her the options: beer, wine, mixed drinks, Gatorade... (ok, I didn't really offer her Gatorade).
I told her that I had all this POM juice from the POM Wonderful people, and we ended up deciding on mixed drinks with POM :)  

In the mix:
POM
Peach Sparkling Water
Vodka
Squeeze of lime
Hit the spot!

We watched the Britney episode of Glee!  Cindi impressed me with her knowledge of Britney Spears lyrics by singing along to most of the songs.  We watched the John Stewart episode of Oprah, which I had on Tivo.  Love him :)

7 comments:

Jaime said...

That looks yummy! Can't wait to try it.

Mrs. Pozzy said...

Oh, yum! That dish looks absolutely delicious. I've never cooked acorn squash before. Kind of intimidated by the ghords (haha)

Happy Fall! :-)

Brittney said...

It was really good! Let me know if you guys try it! Don't let the gourds intimidate you- they're easy once you cut them in half. You just throw em in the oven for a half hour and you're done. I also like acorn squash with a little butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. That's how my mom always made them growing up!

Kristina @ spabettie said...

Jason isn't a huge fan of squash, but this looks perfect to me!! My mom always made them the way yours did - butter + maple syrup or brown sugar, into the oven... perfect! :D

Molly said...

I love POM in margaritas...thanks for the idea of stuffing squash, I usually just roast it!

Brittney said...

Thanks for the idea of POM in margaritas Molly! My hubby will LOVE that!!

Tammi Kibler said...

This recipe looks perfect for introducing my mom to quinoa, as she already loves acorn squash.

Do you make the coconut butter yourself?

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