Reflecting on 2013 and a Meatless Monday Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

As the year comes to a close, I want to stop and reflect on how significant 2013 has been to me. My life unexpectedly changed in the most positive way when I became vegan earlier this year.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I started the year with so many unanswered questions on how to live in an ethical way. I actually went to the Big Apple Circus after becoming vegan, not knowing the cruelty that is involved at these types of events. But, over the course of the last year, my knowledge of animal rights and living the vegan lifestyle has grown leaps and bounds.

On this blog, I’ve shared everything from how I opted for cruelty-free make-up to conversations at my vegan book club to how I led the Great Bull Run petition. I wrote about how I volunteered with GARP at festivals (including dressing up in a chicken costume) and participated in my first protest. I also shared how much Our Hen House has meant to me, and although I haven’t broadcasted this here, I’ve been serving on their fundraising committee, advisory board and most recently on their board of directors. The amount of joy that comes from working with OHH and GARP is undeniable.

I explored how following a nutritarian diet has been the optimal way to live a healthy lifestyle for me and my husband, and I talked about how juicing has played an integral role in making me feel more balanced. I made friends with other vegans and activists and shared my first vegan potluck pictures with you. I also reviewed books and restaurants, and journaled on my travels as a vegan.

And, every Monday, I shared a new vegan recipe, encouraging others to take part in Meatless Monday (which is when you opt out of eating meat for one day a week). I thought that this last Meatless Monday recipe for 2013 was fitting, considering I had never even cooked with quinoa until this year.

This blog has served as an outlet for me to talk about my vegan journey, and I couldn’t be more grateful to those of you who have guided me, encouraged me or have lent a listening ear this past year. Whether I’ve met you in person or we remain e-friends, thank you!

I never set out to accomplish any of this when the clock tolled midnight last New Year’s Eve, and I don’t say all of this to toot my own horn, but I highlight these proud moments from 2013 to show that anything is possible. Who knows what 2014 has in store for me; I’m just thankful for all that this past year has brought me and my family.

I’ll be back with new posts in the new year, and until then, I hope you all have a joyous end to 2013 and have a Happy New Year!

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Adapted from Vegetarian.About.com

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/3 cup red quinoa, cooked following instructions on package (becomes 1 cup cooked)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast 
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste

Steps

  1. Cut acorn squash in half. Scoop out seeds and cover each half with plastic wrap. Put in microwave, open side up, for 6 minutes on high, or until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, mix cooked quinoa with remaining ingredients.
  3. Fill the squash with quinoa mixture and serve.

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