#LunchBreakLIVE with popular podcaster Vegan Danielle, a powerful activist for the animals, making delicious No Waste Stuffed Acorn Squash with quinoa, mushrooms, pine nuts, cranberries and more! Wow! Learn how to make this colorful, delicious, super healthy, holiday dish!

 

 

Danielle has been in some form or another of the hospitality industry since she was 14 years old when she was volunteering to make lunches for the fire department in her home town of Wrightwood, CA. When she was 15, she started working in the fast-food industry, which eventually led to working alongside Top Chef, Angelo Sosa when she was creating vegan menu items for a local San Diego restaurant, Greens Please. In 2015, she made the switch to veganism after only seeing a portion of the revealing documentary “Earthlings”. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which forced her to dive into a healthier, Whole Foods Plant Based “WFPB” version of veganism.

In January of 2017, Danielle started the, “Vegan Danielle Podcast”, with the intention of sharing the stories of local vegans, to help others make the switch to veganism. In January of 2018, Danielle found her true passion, animal activism, when she started attending Cubes Of Truth with the global animal rights’ group Anonymous for the Voiceless and hasn’t looked back since. She has made fitness one of her top priorities, aside from the animals, to reach out to others — showing them what’s achievable with a plant-based diet. Today, Danielle does videography for the global organization The Save Movement’s Los Angeles’ group LA Animal Save at their pig vigils at Farmer John Slaughterhouse, where she interviews others about their experience bearing witness to the horrific conditions present in animal agriculture.

Danielle continues to do her podcast and has had guests such as Colleen Patrick Goudreau, Dr. Garth Davis, Katarina Van Derham, Dr. Angie Sadeghi and worldwide philathropist Jim Greenbaum (to name a few). She has also partnered with Plant Chics, Marzia Prince and Jacque Tarlton to create plant-based women’s retreats and encourage others to adopt a plant-based diet.

 

The ingredients for this amazing meal!

The Recipe

Vegan Danielle

No Waste Stuffed Acorn Squash

4 Acorn Squash –

4 cups cooked Quinoa –

2 tbsp Lemon Juice –

1/2 c Parsley, chopped –

2 tbsp fresh Sage, minced –

3 tsp dried Cumin – 

8 oz Mushrooms, diced – 

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), plus extra for brushing –

1/2 Yellow Onion – 

1 green Apple – 

4 stalks Celery – 

4 cloves Garlic –

1/3 c dried Cranberries –

1/2 c toasted Pine Nuts

Salt and Pepper –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut tops off acorn squash, scoop out seeds and set aside (don’t throw away).

Place the squash in an oven-proof dish with the cut side up.

Brush insides with EVOO and sprinkle salt and pepper.

Roast for about 40 minutes, or until squash is tender.  

In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp EVOO over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, apples, and garlic.

Add in lemon juice, parsley, sage, cumin, mushrooms, cranberries, salt, and pepper.

Stir in pine nuts.

Remove from heat and add cooked quinoa. Mix thoroughly.

In a small pan, add a few drops of EVOO and squash seeds.

Sprinkle on salt and pepper, and brown.

Remove from heat.

Once squash is tender, fill with quinoa mixture.

Place in oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the top layer of quinoa is browned.

Remove from oven and top with browned seeds.

 

The Acorn Squash baking in the oven.

 

Close up of the finished stuffed acorn squash (No Waste!)

 

The perfect meal for the holidays!

 

Vegan Danielle showing off her No Waste Stuffed Acorn Squash!

Here is a little more about Vegan Danielle which I took directly from her website.  She has quite an inspiring story.

“As you’ve probably guessed, my name is Danielle. I was born in Riverside, California and grew up in the small town of Wrightwood, California — home of Mountain High Ski Resort.

My first job was ironically flipping burgers at McDonald’s when I was 14 years old. During the winter season, I also worked in the kitchen at Mountain High serving pizza and cashiering.

Since then, I’ve moved all around California, but have called San Diego my permanent home since 2012.

I have always been a fan of cooking — in fact, my maternal grandfather was a chef. I remember as a young girl cooking with him in the kitchen for hours at a time. My grandfather passed away when I was very young, but I continued to cook with other family members.

I have been working in restaurants since my first job at McDonald’s. In my late teens and early twenties, I made some pretty bad choices in life, which led me down a terrible path of addiction and self-harm. In 2007 I had a horrendous motorcycle accident (I was hit by a semi-truck), which landed me in the hospital with a shattered ankle and multiple skin grafts. I feel extremely lucky with the outcome, given my circumstances.

Unfortunately, the position I was in before the accident and my accessibility to drugs, combined with a growing prescription drug addiction from the accident, led me to a nearly deadly heroin addiction. The details are long and gruesome, so if you’re interested, feel free to listen to the whole story here: Episode 52 – Stripping the Layers

Thankfully, rehab and a geographical change worked this time. I found myself in San Diego in 2012 and haven’t turned back.

My healing journey started with detox, rehab, anonymous meetings, counseling, and other forms of therapy. I slowly began to change my life for the better, eliminating cigarettes and junk food around 2013. In 2015, after watching a few documentaries, I decided to go vegan, which prompted me to dive into vegan cooking.

In early 2017, I was trained as a cook by Top Chef, Angelo Sosa at Greens Please in Poway. (A photo I took is still a GIANT window sticker across the front of the restaurant – GO ME!) 

Around the same time, in 2017, I started my own podcast. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I absolutely love what it’s become! I’ve had some amazing guests and am extremely grateful for the experiences I’ve had as a host! For more information, check this out —> Podcast.

Currently, I’ve been diving more into the “Animal Activism” aspect of veganism, because I feel it’s where I’m most effective. I love participating in events such as those with Anonymous for the Voiceless, because it allows people to witness events and ask questions about what they see, at their own will.

I’m not a Certified Personal Trainer, and, No, I don’t do Crossfit; I’m just a chick who lifts heavy shit.”

 

Vegan Danielle in her activism. Photo courtesy of Vegan Danielle.

 

Vegan Danielle. Photo courtesy of Vegan Danielle.

 

 

 

 

 

No Waste Stuffed Acorn Squash. Amazing!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Acorn Squash
  • 4 cups Quinoa Cooked
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp sage fresh and minced
  • 3 tsp Cumin dried
  • 8 oz mushrooms diced
  • 2 tbsp EVOO plus extra for brushing
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 green Apple
  • 4 stalks Celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Cranberries dried
  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts toasted
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut tops off acorn squash, scoop out seeds and set aside (don't throw away).
  • Place the squash in an oven-proof dish with the cut side up.
  • Brush insides with EVOO and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  • Roast for about 40 minutes, or until squash is tender.  
  • In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp EVOO over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, apples, and garlic.
  • Add in lemon juice, parsley, sage, cumin, mushrooms, cranberries, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir in pine nuts.
  • Remove from heat and add cooked quinoa. Mix thoroughly.
  • In a small pan, add a few drops of EVOO and squash seeds.
  • Sprinkle on salt and pepper, and brown.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Once squash is tender, fill with quinoa mixture.
  • Place in oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the top layer of quinoa is browned.
  • Remove from oven and top with browned seeds.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!