Acorn squash with quinoa, feta, and vegetable filling. (December 2022).

Acorn squash with quinoa, feta, and vegetable filling. (December 2022). Credit: Marge Perry

There is food everywhere: luscious desserts, roasts, holiday-themed snacks and so very much more. The season is here, and with it comes temptations.

A plant-based meal can live up to the deliciousness that surrounds us. This beautiful — and satisfying — stuffed acorn squash makes a wonderful dinner served with a salad or soup, and leftovers make the perfect lunch.

In fact, I often double the recipe to ensure I have healthful lunches at the ready during the week. The stuffed squash may be served warm or at room temperature, and can be reheated in the microwave.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Peppers, Quinoa, Feta and Spinach

2 (1 1/2 pound) acorn squash, halved through the stem, seeded

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus a little more for brushing the squash)

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 red bell pepper, chopped in ¼-inch pieces

½ cup chopped onion

3 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Brush the cut side of the squash very lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and an 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper. Place cut side down on backing sheet. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions.

4. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet medium-high. Add the peppers and onions and cook 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are somewhat softened. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, to wilt. Add the quinoa, vinegar, thyme, rosemary, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and cook 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and gently stir in the cheese. Spoon into the squash halves and serve.

Makes 4 servings