Driving Out of the Snow
It’s a long drive down to sea level.
Winding through the mountains,
Snow capped at the tree line –
Scraping the base of the sky.
Ears popping, heart pounding, eyes flirting over the ledge.
Snow clings to tree limbs as the car hugs the curves.
Hanging tight to beatle eaten limbs,
Reaching high – tips grazing the clouds.
Tracks of some small-footed animal jump from rock to rock,
Up the mountain side.
Messy and uncoorinated,
Gazelles of the snow.
Acorn Squash with Apple and Almond Quinoa
1 acorn squash (this is also wonderful with butternut squash!)
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small apple, diced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, roasted or toasted on the stove top
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Pierce the skin of the acorn squash with a sharp knife and microwave for 2 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the acorn squash from tip to tip, following the natural rib. Scoop out the seeds and all internal membranes, leaving the flesh in place.* Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 1 hour.
When there is 20 minutes remaining on the squash, cook the quinoa. Begin by rinsing it thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Add the quinoa to a sauce pan with the chicken broth. Bring to a rolling boil and then lower to a simmer and cover, still simmering, for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, but keep the quinoa on the burner with the lid on for five additional minutes.
When the squash is fully cooked, remove it from the oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and a dash or two of cinnamon, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per half.
In a bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, diced apple, toasted almonds, and chopped parsley. Stir well.
Evenly divide the quinoa mixture between the two squash halves, filling the cavities. Top with additional parsley, if desired. Enjoy immediately!
*I’ve been told that you can roast the acorn squash seeds in the same manner that you do pumpkin seeds!