Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Patty Pan “Mini” Squash Recipe (Healthy, Gluten-Free & Dairy Free)

Growing up, I would eat any vegetable that my mother said was of the cute “baby” variety. Broccoli became baby trees, Brussel sprouts were baby cabbages, and patty pans renamed baby squashes. Now that I’m an adult, I make those adorable mini squashes into a healthy yet beautiful dish that’s actually really easy to make… it just looks like it took work. It will satisfy the vegans when made this way, as a side dish, but you can add ground meat to the pilaf to make it a complete meal. And as it’s a gluten-free and dairy-free recipe, everyone at the table can enjoy it. This makes it perfect for this time of year when folks gather to celebrate together in the spirit of Thanksgiving. See more of the Fall Leaves & Pumpkins Themed Thanksgiving Tablescape Décor Ideas here.

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Ingredients:
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa (or brown rice) with 1 cup water
  • I container of patty pan squash
  • ½ cup chopped leeks (or onion)
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • dash of ground peppercorns

Instructions:

Cook the quinoa (or brown rice) according to package instructions. (If you’re just making this for yourself… it’s the perfect way to spruce up leftover grains.) Steam the squash about 4 or 5 minutes or until bright, soft, and tender. (Time will vary depending on method… electric steamer, in a steamer basket on the stove, microwave.)

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Chop, mince, and measure while you’re steaming. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. When the patty pans are cool enough to touch, cut an inverted cone shaped depression into each squash (like you would cut the top out of a strawberry).

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Set these into your serving dish. Dice the cut-out squash bits, and mix this into the rest of your ingredients. Spoon this quinoa pilaf into each squash and serve immediately. (If you need to prepare this ahead of time, the pilaf stuffed squash reheats beautifully.) Bon appétit!

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Another great recipe for Fall is my Quick & Easy “Shortcut” Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe (Heart-Healthy & Dairy-Free) 🙂

Faithfully Yours,

Leigh

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