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By Jacqueline Lezette Curran

The Squash Recipe Your Body (And Taste Buds) Will Love

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Let's talk about your Thanksgiving menu—high in calories and carbs—but SO delicious. We want to help lighten it up a bit. We've partnered with registered-dietician and author of The Better Period Solution, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman (@thehappiestnutritionist), to replace your traditional Thanksgiving recipes with healthier alternative dishes.

Tracy’s quinoa-stuffed acorn squash recipe will show you how tasty eating well can be. Quinoa is a nutrient-rich, plant-based protein source, so you’ll still be giving your body the amino acids it needs to rebuild and refuel your muscles. Plus, the ingredients are full of nutrients like iron, vitamins A, C, and E, and antioxidants, which will undoubtedly reduce any inflammation from bubbling up in the body.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serving Size: 4 Total Time: 40 minutes 
Gluten-free, Vegetarian

+ ½ cup red quinoa
+ 1 cup water
+ 2 medium (about 2½-pound) acorn squashes
+ 1 tablespoon olive oil
+ 1 clove garlic, minced
+ zest and juice of 1 lemon
+ ¼ teaspoon salt
+ ¼ teaspoon pepper
+ 2 cups chopped dinosaur kale
+ ½ cup dried cranberries
+ ¼ cup parmesan cheese or dairy free-cheese


1. In a medium pot, add the quinoa and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through (about 15 minutes). Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

2. Using a knife, pierce the skin on both squashes several times. Microwave for 18 minutes, rotating each halfway through. Carefully remove the squashes and place them on a cutting board. Halve the squashes lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper. Add the kale, tossing to combine.

4. Add the cooked quinoa and cranberries to the kale bowl, and stir to combine.

5. Scoop ½ cup of the quinoa mixture into each of the 4 squash halves, top with cheese, and serve.

Stay hydrated by pairing this yummy dish with grapefruit + elderflower Flow.