Shhh... can you keep a secret?
This recipe is what made me fall head-over-heels in love with mushrooms. Yes, you heard that right. I've been putting them in soups, stir fries, and salads almost every day this week. I am now a big fungi fan.
But, that's not the secret.
See, my partner, Ashley, hates mushrooms. She hates mushrooms more than kale (and that's saying a lot), but she loved this stuffing. Of course, I didn't exactly advertise that there were mushrooms in it. Can you keep this a secret?
As she ate it I sat nervously waiting for her to discover a small mushroom that hadn't been diced fine enough, but she made it through the entire plate without saying a word. That's a huge success.
Now that I've been enjoying mushrooms more I'm starting to develop a taste for them. They're not so bad after all. Any mushroom-haters out there waiting to be converted? This recipe just might sway you.
I know that we still have some time before the holidays hit, but I can tell you that this stuffing will definitely be one of the dishes served this year. Whether you are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or just love delicious food, this should make it on your list for the holidays too. I really liked serving it in a roasted acorn squash because it had a beautiful presentation and after the stuffing was scooped out, the squash was sliced up as a side dish. However, you can just as easily skip the squash and serve the stuffing on its own. Either way, this is a fabulous dish that everyone (even mushroom haters) will enjoy.
(Gluten-Free) Quinoa Pecan Stuffing
Slightly adapted from Michelle Babb
1 cup pecans
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 acorn squash
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth plus 1/4 cup
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1 small apple, cored, peeled and chopped into small chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans on the baking sheet and place in the oven until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. (I recommend watching the pecans because they can easily start to burn). Remove them from the oven and turn the heat to 375.
While the oven heats, add the pecans to a food processor. Coarsely chop while adding the sage and thyme. Set aside.
Cut squash in half, rub with a little oil, and place on sheet pan cut side down in the 375-degree oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until insides are tender.
Rinse quinoa and place in a large saucepan. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms are tender. Add apple chunks and remaining 1/4 cup vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until apple is tender. Add the cooked quinoa and the pecan/herb mixture to the pan and stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
Scoop a little squash out of the acorn halves. Fill with the quinoa stuffing and serve. (Once the stuffing is served, the squash can be sliced and served as well.)