Vegetarian Thanksgiving Part 3

It’s that time of year when “gratitude turns what we have into enough”. I’ve always valued experiences and time with family more than possessions, and Thanksgiving is a day that reminds me of why “more life, less stuff” is important to me. 

I am grateful for:
  • My freedom
  • My amazing husband,
  • My family,
  • My friends,
  • My Canadian citizenship,
  • My health,
  • My education
  • My employment,
  • My opportunities
  • My outlook
  • My ability to learn from my mistakes
  • My travels
  • & more…


A few weeks ago, I wondered how I could enjoy a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving meal without the turkey. With some searching, some recipe tweaking, and some family recipes, I created a full Thanksgiving meal, (and some very full bellies!). What I loved most about this, was that even those who traditionally loved turkey on their plates, were very satisfied with the meal, and even said they ‘recovered faster’ after eating this and didn’t feel the need to put on their “fat pants”.  No animals harmed & no fat pants? #WIN 

For the full meal plan, be sure to also check out Vegetarian Thanksgiving Part 1 & Vegetarian Thanksgiving Part 2

Smoked Apple and Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves: 6-8  

Prep Time: 40 minutes   

Cook Time: 40 minutes

(print recipe)

2 tbs         Olive Oil

1              Acorn Squash

1 tbs         Butter (melted)

1 tbs         Maple Syrup

½ C           Quinoa

1 C            Water

1               Vegetable Bouillon

1               Onion (diced)

1               Apple (cored, diced)

½ C          Smoked Cheddar (shredded)

¼ C          Dried Cranberries   

2 tbs         Sage

2 tbs         Walnuts (finely chopped)

1               Egg (whisked)

To taste    Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375ºF

Line a baking tray with aluminium foil, and grease with 1 tbs of olive oil.

Cut the acorn squash into rings (approx ½”) and remove the  seeds and ‘guts’. Place the squash rings onto greased baking tray.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and maple syrup. Brush the tops and insides of the squash rings.

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions, (usually 1 quinoa : 2 water), adding the vegetable bouillon to the mix. Allow to  slightly cool.

In a large pan, heat 1 tbs of olive oil. Add in onion and cook until beginning to brown (approx. 10 minutes). Add in the apple, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the apple has softened. Reduce heat, and add your cooked quinoa to the apple/onion mixture. Stir until combined.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa mixture with smoked cheddar, dried cranberries, sage, walnuts, and salt & pepper. Once mixed, stir in 1 egg.

Using your hands, stuff the quinoa mixture into the center of each squash ring. Ensure that the mixture is well packed so it will stay together when cooked and served.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the squash is tender.

For added sweetness, serve with a  drizzle of maple syrup.

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