As I mentioned in my post 10 reasons to celebrate fall, one of the things I enjoy about this season is the squash. Especially delicata squash. Last year I made some miso-glazed delicata squash for Thanksgiving, but this time, inspired by a Mexican casserole I made recently, I’m taking it in a Tex-Mex direction.
I was trying to think of how to describe this dish, and I realized that it’s kind of like a burrito, except inside a squash, instead of a tortilla. It’s loaded with veggies, and I imagine that it would be good with other types of squash, too.
The cheesy topping keeps it from tasting like health food, and you can add sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and hot sauce for extra flavor.
I tried to grow some delicata squash in my garden this year, but I got a late start. I was happy that I had one little squash, though, until one day when I came out to the garden and noticed that a creature had picked it, taken one bite, and tossed it aside. Probably a little jerk of a squirrel. You might think that having cats would keep the squirrels at bay, but my cat that’s allowed outside has absolutely no interest in hunting other creatures, or even frightening them away. That’s probably for the best, but it means no home-grown delicata squash for me this year.
Delicata Squash Stuffed with Tex-Mex Veggie Quinoa
2 delicata squash
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 orange/yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (1 cup cooked)
1/2 can black beans
1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon total)
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (mine was a “taco blend” of cheddar and pepper jack)
Sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, hot sauce, and/or lime for topping and garnish
Preheat oven to 425 °F.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut sides of each squash half with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Place facedown on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the squash are roasting, prepare the filling. Rinse the quinoa well under cold water, drain, and place it in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, so that the quinoa is simmering. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.
Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of the chili and cumin, and saute until the peppers are softened and slightly browned, about 7-10 minutes. Remove and set aside in a large bowl. Repeat the roasting process with the corn, garlic, and jalapeno pepper, sprinkling with chili and cumin, removing from the heat when softened.
In a large bowl, sprinkle the roasted veggies with a little bit of salt and toss to coat. Add the cooked quinoa, black beans, and enchilada sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Serve topped with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, and/or a squeeze of lime.