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Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing



  • for the dressing:
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled + smashed
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. hemp oil, or olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • sea salt + pepper to taste
  • for the squash and apples:
  • 3 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 2 crispy apples
  • sea salt + pepper
  • for the kale and quinoa:
  • 3 tsp. unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 c water
  • 5 c chopped lacinato/dino kale
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • sea salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


  1. For the dressing: Combine the smashed garlic, lemon juice, and oil in a jar. Seal and shake vigorously. Let sit for 10 minutes. Shake once more then remove the garlic. Add tahini, maple syrup, lemon zest, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Seal and shake until smooth. Taste and adjust salt/pepper/maple syrup if needed. Set aside. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  2. For the squash and apples: Preheat your oven to 400* F. In a small pan combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and cayenne over medium-low heat and stir until melted. Take off the heat.  Slice squash into appx. 1/4-inch round slices, using a large and sharp knife. Discard ends. Cut seeds out from each slice and place squash rings on 2 large baking sheets. Brush the oil mixture over both sides of the squash rings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 30-36 minutes, flipping once halfway through until desired doneness is reached. A few minutes later slice the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices, removing any seeds/core. Place on a baking sheet and toss to coat with remaining oil/maple mixture. Place in the oven during the last 7-10 minutes of squash roasting. Roast for 7 minutes to maintain a nice crunch.
  3. For the kale and quinoa: As soon as the squash is in the oven heat a pot over medium with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Once hot add the quinoa and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add the water then raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered. After placing your apples in the oven to roast place a large pan over medium heat and melt 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil.  Once hot add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, then add the kale and stir frequently for about 3-5 minutes until wilted. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and combine in the pan with the quinoa. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  4. To assemble: Place quinoa on a large platter then place roasted squash rings on top then the apples and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Top with dressing or let guests take individual servings and dress themselves. I prefer to trim away the outer skin as I eat acorn squash, but serve/eat how you please.


for stuffed squash: Slice 3 acorn squashes in half and coat the flesh with the same oil/maple mixture as specified for the squash and apples. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 35-40 minutes until tender. Fill with quinoa and kale mixture, chopped roasted apples, almonds, and then dressing.