Stuffed Turban Squash
Enjoy as a sensational entrée at a harvest feast. For meat eaters, boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breasts can be substituted for the tofu.
1 large turban or other large squash or pumpkin (about 5 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup cooked quinoa (follow the package directions)
4 ounces firm tofu or boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast, diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
Fresh greens, parsley, or autumn (gold, red, or brown) tree leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash the turban squash and, with a sharp knife, cut out the “topknot.” If using a pumpkin, cut out the stem end in a circle about 4 inches in diameter. Reserve the top. Carefully scoop out the pulp and seeds.
2. Brush the cavity of the squash with oil. Place the lid back on, wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing the squash with the tip of a sharp knife—it should slide in easily. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Reduce heat to 400°F.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the parsley, apples, cooked quinoa, and tofu. Add the salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, gently peel back the foil on top and remove the lid. Save the foil. If necessary, scoop out some flesh to create a deeper cavity. Stuff the squash with the quinoa mixture. (Any leftover flesh or stuffing can be placed in a casserole and baked separately.) Ladle the broth into the squash, replace the lid, and rewrap with the reserved foil.
5. Bake at 400°F for approximately 1 hour, or when the inner flesh of the squash is cooked to within 1⁄2 inch of its skin. Check by removing the lid and piercing the squash with the tip of a sharp knife.
6. If desired, garnish the squash with fresh greens. To serve, dish out a helping of the stuffing, then dig into the sides for a serving of savory squash.
460 calories, 12g fat, 74g carbohydrates, 16.5g protein