Serves 6

  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 hot chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup small Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 cup mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, stems removed
  • 1 large (or 2 small) butternut squash
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa*
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts, chopped
  • Kitchen twine

    Active time: 40 minutes
    Total time: 2 hours

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, cinnamon stick, clove, cranberries, dates, apricots, and cherries. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let ingredients soak for about 10 minutes. Drain saucepan, setting fruit aside, and discard cinnamon stick.

    Preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, chili, and salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and thyme. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender and mushrooms are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

    Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a sturdy metal spoon, scrape out and discard seeds. Continue scraping flesh to hollow out center and neck until they’re about 1 inch thick to make room for stuffing. Use a knife to score the inside of the squash in a crosshatch pattern to help it cook more evenly.

    Add dried fruit mixture, quinoa, and nuts to Brussels sprouts mixture and stir to combine. Spoon stuffing into squash cavities, packing in as much as you can fit. (Any leftover stuffing is fantastic on its own as a quinoa salad.) Place halves back together and tie tightly with kitchen twine to secure. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Flip, cover with foil, and bake until soft, 30 to 45 minutes longer. Slice crosswise into rounds and serve hot.

    *Stealth health: Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, and contains nearly double the filling protein of brown rice.

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