Tag Archives: balsamic vinegar

quinoa stuffed acorn squash with pecans and raisins

Are you freezing yet? It has been in the 50’s all day. The cats are sleeping in the weirdest places, trying to stay warm. It’s so cold, all I can think is climbing under the covers with a book (Ender’s Game). Oh, and eating, of course – eating lots of warm things. This quinoa stuffed acorn squash does not disappoint. This dish is filled with warm, whole grains mixed with pecans and raisins, served in a roasted acorn squash bowl. It leaves your belly full and body warm. It’s also easily made into a vegan dish.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

I will be the first to admit that I blew it on these photos.  The lighting couldn’t have been worse. It was dark out, my overhead was yellow, and lest we forget, my walls are puke green. (sigh). Also, someone call Dexter, because I clearly don’t know how to photograph vinegar.  In the few seconds it took for me to adjust my camera, post-drizzle, my plates started to look like blood splatter. Don’t believe me?

The Horror, The Horror

I’m sorry I showed you that. Appetizing, I know. But, if you can look past the camera work and desperate Photoshop touch ups, I promise you these were incredible.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans and Rasins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Use the acorn squash as a warm bowl to eat the savory mix of quinoa, pecans and raisins.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Yields: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • 2 teaspoons of butter or vegan margarine
  • 2 cups of quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ cup of pecans, chopped into chunks
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • balsamic vinegar to drizzle
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the acorn squash in half, removing all of seeds and stringy insides.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Rub the butter on the inside of the acorn squash, including the top rim (basically any part that is yellow).
  5. Place the acorn squash, open side facing up, in the oven.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender and easily punctured with a fork.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa, if you haven't already cooked it.
  8. In a small bowl, create the quinoa mixture by combining the quinoa, raisins, and pecans.
  9. Add salt and pepper to the mixture.
  10. Once the acorn squash is done, scoop a cup of the quinoa mixture into each acorn squash.
  11. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

 

stuffed-quinoa-2

 

The vinegar was infused with pumpkin pie spice. I found it at Scarborough Fare Oil and Vinegar Tap Room. They have a tasting bar, where you can sample a variety of flavors, including fig vinegar and truffle infused oil. If you’re ever in the cute little town of New Paltz, Ny, stop by and check them out.

goat cheese & pear mini-pizza with balsamic glaze

New York is a foodie’s paradise, which has proved dangerous for my wallet and my waistline. This weekend a few of my friends and I went to Bogota Bistro, where I ate the best empanadas, plantain chips and spent $12 on a girly mixed drink.

Then, the next day, I started my first boot camp class and was doing push ups in the snow. ugh.

I am trying to eat in as much as possible, which is challenging since our Brooklyn kitchen is one-person wide and there seems to be only one working stove top. I’ve been relying on the oven heavily.

Pear & Goat Cheese Pizza

I’m also doing without many of my favorite cooking tools. I appreciate the challenge, it feels oddly rustic and comforting, bringing me back to my cooking roots. We rolled these pizza crusts out with a wine bottle and our hands.

Pear

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the gadgetry of life, especially with cooking. My food processor is in storage, which means I’m spending more time actually handling the food. There is something very therapeutic about the ritual of preparing food. It’s nice to have habit and purpose during such a hectic time in my life.

goat cheese & pear mini-pizza with balsamic glaze
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make one large pizza or mini pizzas with goat cheese, pear and red onion. This recipe made 7 mini-pizzas that were about 4-5 inches in diameter. This recipe works best with a thin-crust pizza.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Yields: 3-4
Ingredients
Pizza Dough
Toppings
  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Italian herbs: dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme
  • 1 Pear
  • ¼ large red onion
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, softened
Instructions
Preheat Oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare the Pizza Dough
  1. If you are making the dough from scratch, you'll want to be sure to prepare it several hours ahead of time and give it enough time to rise.
Balsamic Reduction
  1. Warm 1 cup balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Wait until the reduction is about ½ the original amount, or about 20 minutes. It will be thicker and more syrup-y.
Prep the Pizza
  1. Thinly slice the pear and red onion.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil.
  3. Roll out the pizza dough to make one large pizza or several mini pizzas. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
  4. Cover the dough in a thin layer of olive oil and rub in the dried Italian herbs.
  5. Spread a lavish layer of goat cheese on the dough.
  6. Top with a few slices of pear and red onion.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Once it's finished, drizzle with the balsamic reduction.


Goat cheese and pear pizza with balsamic reduction