Hey guys! If you were following on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat this weekend, you know that I flew out to Connecticut to spend time with my favorite girls for a few days. Despite our cynical outlook on the forecast, Winter Storm Jonas really did show up for the party – enough to provoke a Sunday flight cancellation on Saturday morning! We could have gotten stressed about it, but when a snow storm means extra time to drink, cook, watch movies and play games with your best friends who you never get to see… umm… there are worse things in the world.
In honor of being together and being “on vacation” we all did a lot of indulging (all the carbs, please), so it’s very fitting that I have this recipe for you today! Escoffier Online and I made this dish at our last shoot and it’s the perfect thing to make when you’re easing your way back into a healthy routine. The combination of acorn squash, quinoa and chicken are filling and comforting, plus you’ll WANT to eat it on a chilly winter night. Sometimes you just don’t want a salad! I get it!
2 acorn squash, halved crosswise and gutted
1 lb ground chicken
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1/3 cup chopped pecans, raw
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place squash on a baking sheet, cut side up. Brush with olive oil and a little maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper and then roast it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
While the squash is in the oven, cook the filling. Heat a large pan with a little olive oil, and add the ground chicken. Break it apart as it cooks for a few minutes, and then add the onion and celery. Saute for another 5-7 minutes, or until they are both tender. Add the thyme, maple syrup, pecans and cook for another minute or two. The thyme will become really fragrant! Season with salt and pepper to taste and and remove from the heat.
When the squash is done, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Fill the squash with as much filling as it can hold and then put them back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. And that’s it! You could also add crumbled goat cheese on top… I won’t judge you.