Southwestern Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

PREP: 25 minutes BAKE: 60 minutes OVEN: 350°F MAKES 4 servings

• 2 small acorn squash (about 11⁄2 pounds each)
• 1 cup water
• 1⁄2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from cob, or 1⁄2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
• 1 cup chopped red sweet pepper (1 medium)
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 2 medium fresh jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced*
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds and membranes. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes or until squash is just tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine the water, quinoa, cumin, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
3. In a large skillet cook corn, sweet pepper, green onions, and jalapeño peppers in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir vegetable mixture and drained black beans into quinoa. Turn squash halves cut sides up. Spoon quinoa mixture evenly into squash halves, mounding as needed.
5. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until heated through.

PER SERVING: 317 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 572 mg sodium, 63 g carb., 12 g fiber, 13 g pro.


Because hot chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.