A beautiful, grounding squash is just begging to be filled with a delicious blend of savoury flavours.
This perfect plant based main dish is full of protein, iron, healthy fats, and serves beautifully with sautéed greens or a fresh salad.
It's an easy dish to serve for a holiday or winter gathering.
You can prep the dressing and/or the entire filling mixture up to a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. The squash is best cooked right before serving.
Feel free to use chickpeas or the beans of your choice instead of lentils.
You can also use this filling for any squash like acorn or butternut if you prefer, however cooking times may vary depending on the size.
You may have extra of the filling mixture leftover which you can enjoy on its own, in a wrap or on top of a bed of greens. Yum!
Preheat the oven to 400.
Make the dressing by whisking together the 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 3 Tbsp of olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
In a separate small pot, add the red lentils and just enough water to cover them. Cook them on low until the water is absorbed - about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. (Cooking them on a higher temperature will make them mushy.)
While the lentils and quinoa cook, prep the delicata squash. Cut the stems off the ends, half lengthwise, scrape the seeds out with a spoon, and brush the inside of each half with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until fork-tender and golden around the edges. Remove from oven.
While all of the above is cooking, sauté the onion, garlic and 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan until translucent.
Add the cooked quinoa, cooked lentils, onion and garlic, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the dressing you made in the first step and toss well to combine.
Fill the roasted squash with the mixture and pop it back in the oven for a couple minutes to warm everything up.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.