1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the acorn squash in half, remove the seeds & clean out the center. Add salt & pepper to the flesh of the squash & place 1 tbsp of butter into the cavity of each squash half. 2. Once the oven is ready, place the squash flesh side up on a baking sheet or casserole dish & bake for 45 minutes. 3. Put the quinoa into a bowl or container & fill it with water until the quinoa is covered. Set aside. 4. Remove the stalks from the kale & discard them. Rough chop the kale leaves & place into a skillet over medium heat along with 1 tbsp of butter. Add salt, pepper, & crushed red pepper to taste & saute until the kale is dark green & wilted, approximately 5-10 minutes. 5. Drain the water from the quinoa. Pour 1 c. of water in a pot, salt the water liberally & bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa & kale, stirring together. Place a cover on the pot & reduce the heat to low. 6. Remove the squash from the oven. Spoon the quinoa & kale mixture into the cavity of each squash half & serve.
Chef’s Note: Spinach can be substituted for kale if desired.
Place squash cubes & 1 tbsp of butter into a skillet over medium heat. Stir occasionally until cooked through (roughly 10 minutes) then remove from heat & set aside.
Melt remaining butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion & garlic; cook & stir for 2 minutes until they begin to soften, then stir in the rice. Continue cooking & stirring until the rice is glossy from the butter, & the onion begins to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes more.
Pour in the white wine; cook, stirring constantly, until it has evaporated. Stir in ⅓ of the hot vegetable stock; reduce heat to medium. Cook & stir until the stock has been absorbed by the rice, 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the remaining stock, & continue stirring until it has been absorbed.
Finally, pour in the remaining stock & butternut squash, & continue stirring until the risotto is creamy. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, & season to taste with salt & pepper. Finally top each individual serving with Pecorino Romano cheese.
Crystal & Nicole Say: The original recipe was from the South Beach diet and called for 1 oz. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spray & 1 oz. Land ‘O Lakes Gourmet Fat-Free Half & Half. We tweaked it to what we had & our tastes.