Quinoa stuffed squash

So this weekend I had a wonderful experience and experiment with my garden.  I woke up ready to water the garden as I normally do every other day.  But this morning I could not believe my eyes.  Nestled between the spiky leaves and large yellow flowers that I peeled back with my garden gloves was what my amore called ATLANTIS (click here to see it on a video with Quicktime).

Atlantis turned out to be the largest patty pan squash you have ever seen, or at least I have ever grown and eaten with delight.

It was big enough to easily feed the both of us and I wanted to do something commemorative with it, to celebrate its large accomplishment and mine.  So I decided to fill it with a vegetable and quinoa medley and bake it.

Now baking isn’t something that I do that often anymore with vegetables as it’s not half as healthy for you as steaming.  But in this case to cut up my big baby squash for steaming seemed to diminish it, and for me this was a celebration so it had to be like the stuffed turkey at a Thanksgiving dinner, the center piece of the meal.

So here is what I did with it in steps, followed by what I used for the filling.

1.    Cut squash along its side so that you end up with a nice base and a top.
2.    Take out seeds and any stringy like pieces you may find, but keep the meat.
3.    Set “squash meat” aside and chop up into pieces.
4.    You should now have a half of a squash that looks like a bowl ready to be filled.
5.    Fill a pan (you may want to put a layer of foil down- do you know they sell recycled foil now) with some water and lay the squash on it with it sitting up.  You can put the top you cut off along its side to bake with the meat side up.


The filling can be anything that you find appealing to your sense that calls to you. If I had any leftover vegetables lying about in the fridge believe me they would be going in it.  But I had just gone to the market so I had already allocated my veggies for the week.  So I decided to just add a few green squash and some red peppers along with some spices. I chopped them up and added them to the “squash meat”.  Then I sautéed them together for under 5 minutes lightly with some vegetable broth, adding in some dry herbs and garlic.   I then added some capers that I had drained and rinsed along with some olive oil.  I then added it to a bowl of cooked quinoa.

I had prepared this part of the meal earlier in the day so that when I came home I wouldn’t have to do all of it at once.  I think it actually enhanced the meal because the “squash meat” mixture was able to sit and marinate for a while before I filled the squash.  To fill the squash I just gave the “squash meat” mixture a good spooning and then added it slowly to the empty round space of the squash.  Any left over filling I served with the squash.

I accompanied this meal with some steamed kale and broccoli with garlic.  This meal reminded us of a simple dish for a summer’s day.  It was an evening meal that was light, yet filling.  It’s a great dish that you could use for a party, buying several small squash.  Each person can then have their own which could be served on a table with several different small dishes of other vegetables of the season for their choosing.
Let me know if your garden of veggies has inspired an ATLANTIS to sprout and end up on your table and how you enjoyed it.

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