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Twice Baked Acorn Squash Quinoa & Kale with Pomegranate


This easy to makes squash and quinoa dish can be a delightful surprise for your guests over the holidays. The savory warmth of the butternut squash, the nuttiness of the quinoa, the earthiness of the kale, plus the eye-catching pop and sweetness of the pomegranate seeds all stuffed in an acorn squash bowl. Of course, this also means less dishes to clean up.

If you don’t have a lot of time over the holidays, this twice baked quinoa, squash, and kale bowl can be a simple yet healthy addition to your meal plan. This recipe is also gluten-free and can be made vegan just by substituting the butter for coconut oil.

One reason why I like to share recipes is because I find way too many recipes that call for far too many ingredients that I may never use again. They just get thrown in the trash along with the money that I wasted. So I go for simple recipes that can be made with food that you probably already have in your kitchen. If not, then many of the real food ingredients that you will see on the Unprocessed Purpose blog will not go to waste in your kitchen because you will find many suggestions for them in every post.

These ingredients are inexpensive as well. I found organic acorn squash for $1.00 at the supermarket. Always go for seasonal produce because you will find that it is fresh and cheaper than produce that is not in season. Squash and kale can be found at your local farmers market as well.

Pomegranates are definitely in season and you can get tons of seeds out of one fruit! Sprinkle it on your breakfast cereal, pancakes, or yogurt. It will add a nice zing to any savory meat or pasta dish as well. I like to freeze them and chisel out some seeds for my oatmeal in the mornings.

There are two ways to prepare the quinoa. You can cook it on the stove as you would like rice, or you can sprout the quinoa overnight to turn it into a live nutrient dense grain. If you soak the grains overnight, then the cooking time for the quinoa will be reduced.

This Easy Overnight Pumpkin Quinoa-Oatmeal Recipe post can explain the benefits and the method of soaking your grains.

If you prefer not to soak the grains, rinse and drain 1 cup of quinoa, then transfer it to a pot. Add ½ tsp salt and 2 cups of water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Let the pot sit for 5 minutes after the initial cooking time.

This recipe can be made the night before and just pop the prepared bowls in the oven before the guests arrive. EASY real food ideas are a blessing over the holidays. Just like this quick Raw Cranberry Apple Chia Seed Jam.

Here is the recipe, plus a few more tips to make quinoa on-the-go!

Ingredients: 4 servings

Twice Baked Acorn Squash Quinoa & Kale with Pomegranate


  • 2 acorn squash
  • Quinoa, red or white
  • Kale- tear into pieces (amount is as much as you want)
  • Garlic- (fresh or powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup pecans


  • Cut acorn squash in half. Peel out the seeds and coat the inner yellow portion with butter or coconut oil. Place in the oven, right side up, and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the inner portion is soft. For a more seasoned bowl, dust the squash with garlic powder, cinnamon, and allspice. When the squash is done, peel out the inner portion and keep enough remaining in the bowl to maintain its structure.
  • Sauté the shredded squash, quinoa, kale, spices, ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic) and butter in a pan just enough to melt the butter and wilt the kale. Transfer the mixture into the squash bowls and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Add pecans and fresh pomegranates.

Decided that you need a little more gluten-free protein in your diet? Soak a big batch of quinoa overnight and freeze it on a cookie sheet. Cut them in individual slices, wrap them up, and pop them back into the freezer. Make individual servings of hot cereal or saute with some spices, herbs, and vegetables for a quick meal on-the-go!

freeze quinoa oatmeal


A little quinoa cakes perhaps! …of course I had some leftover pumpkin to dash on top.

quinoa oatmeal cakes

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