Let’s do this Thanksgiving thing.
It’s only my favorite holiday ever, ever.
I’ve sworn to myself that I’m going to come up with a slew of Thanksgiving recipes this year and actually post them before the holiday. Pretty crucial, me thinks.
And since I won’t be participating in the whole turkey thing I need to come up with a new main dish. Or, maybe just a bunch of sides. They’re the best part, anyway. Am I right?
So here we have a recipe that could be used as a side or a main dish. If you want to use this as a side make roasted squash/apples and call it a day. So simple and tasty. Top with the dressing if you like.
If you’d like this as a main dish pile everything on to a pillowy bed of quinoa + kale.
Or, stuff that squash old school style and serve it up!
Now. About the maple roasted squash. I could eat it all day long. I did eat it all day long. And how fun and pretty is it to serve giant squash rings? SO FUN!
It’s sweet but not overly so and has a little pop of spice from the cayenne pepper. I love putting the same mixture on tofu and then baking it until browned. It’s also great on brussels sprouts!
The barely roasted apples play into the sweet of this recipe and also add crunch and juice. Then it’s all pulled together with the maple-sweetened, tahini lemon dressing.
Sounds like a lot of sweetness, but I assure you there’s a good balance of sweet + savory here.
Sliced almonds because they’re fancy. And crunchy. And they taste good, too.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4 main dish servings
for the dressing:
- 1 garlic clove, peeled + smashed
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon hemp oil, or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt + pepper to taste
for the squash and apples:
- 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 2 crispy apples
- salt + pepper
for the kale and quinoa:
- 3-4 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 5-6 cups chopped lacinato/dino kale
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
for the dressing: Combine the smashed garlic, lemon juice, and oil in a jar. Seal and shake vigorously. Let sit for 10 minutes. Shake once more then remove the garlic. Add tahini, maple syrup, lemon zest, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Seal and shake until smooth. Taste and adjust salt/pepper/maple syrup if needed. Set aside. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.
for the squash and apples: Preheat your oven to 400* F. In a small pan combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and cayenne over medium-low heat and stir until melted. Take off the heat. Slice squash into appx. 1/4-inch round slices, using a large and sharp knife. Discard ends. Cut seeds out from each slice and place squash rings on 2 large baking sheets. Brush the oil mixture over both sides of the squash rings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 30-36 minutes, flipping once halfway through until desired doneness is reached. A few minutes later slice the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices, removing any seeds/core. Place on a baking sheet and toss to coat with remaining oil/maple mixture. Place in the oven during the last 7-10 minutes of squash roasting. Roast for 7 minutes to maintain a nice crunch.
for the kale and quinoa: As soon as the squash is in the oven heat a pot over medium with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Once hot add the quinoa and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the water then raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered. After placing your apples in the oven to roast place a large pan over medium heat and melt 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Once hot add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, then add the kale and stir frequently for about 3-5 minutes until wilted. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and combine in the pan with the quinoa. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine.
to assemble: Place quinoa on a large platter then place roasted squash rings on top then the apples and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Top with dressing or let guests take individual servings and dress themselves. I prefer to trim away the outer skin as I eat acorn squash, but serve/eat how you please.
----- other serving option -----
for stuffed squash: Slice 3 acorn squashes in half and coat the flesh with the same oil/maple mixture as specified for the squash and apples. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 35-40 minutes until tender. Fill with quinoa and kale mixture, chopped roasted apples, almonds, and then dressing.
More Thanksgiving goodness coming your way soon.
A little book action:
Book signing! Sunday – 11/17 at Old Firehouse Books in Ft. Collins, CO – This event is extra special as I'll be joining another local author, Stasie John. Stasie wrote the book The Gluten Glitch, a sweet story about why some kids have to eat a gluten-free diet. We’ll be answering questions, sampling doughnuts, signing books, and just hangin’ out. Hope you can stop by!
Don’t miss the next to stops on the Baked Doughnuts for Everyone blogger book tour! Gena over at Choosing Raw posted her thoughts, an author Q&A, and a recipe for my Vegan Gooey Chocolate doughnuts. Ashley at (never) homemaker posted that same tasty recipe [too funny!] and shared her thoughts on the book as well as some beautiful photos. I just adore both of these ladies and appreciate their support!