A Simple Vegetarian Meal That Anyone Can Make

My grandmother always told me that if your body is craving something, that you need the nutrients in whatever that something is, so go ahead and eat it. This may also explain why I was a fat kid. I would happily munch on sour cream and onion Wise chips and Bubbiicious gum, none the wiser to the amounts of fat and calories in them. Seriously. I had no chin. Although in High School I was dubbed “Juice,” my mother had always called me “Juicy” when I was growing up because she said that my cheeks were so chubby, that they looked so “Juicy.” Hence the reason why she gave me that nickname. Though, she also shortened “Juicy” to “Jui,” which left a lot of my friends wondering why a Buddhist mother was calling her daughter a “Jew.” Anyway, back to food.

Work has been busy and a lot of the cooking duties have been left to Mr. Juice. But the other night I felt myself wanting something healthy and light, so I took the time out to make myself a late dinner. I figured that my body was desperately craving veggies and quinoa so I had to satisfy it, otherwise I would be thinking about it all night. I ended up making a quick stewed tomato dish with quinoa and a side of acorn squash.


1 acorn squash


Ground pepper to taste

2 medium tomatoes, diced

3/4 medium onion, diced

1 big garlic clove or two smaller ones

Tbs cumin

Tbs coriander

Salt to taste

4 dried prunes chopped into tiny pieces

A dash of cinnamon

Splash of oil

A cup of water

Now What?

Take care of your squash first because this will take the longest. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your acorn squash in half and discard the seeds. (Some people like to toast the seeds to eat later, but I’m to lazy to.) This will take an hour to cook.



Cook your quinoa according to the directions. I made my quinoa in the rice cooker and it turned out fine.

While you are waiting for your quinoa to cook, in a large pan, toast up your cumin, cinnamon and coriander for a couple of minutes. I love the scent that it fills the kitchen with. Then throw in your oil and when that heats up, which will be really quick, toss in your onions and garlic. Right before you think the onions are going to brown, toss in your tomatoes, water and cover. Cook this over a low simmer for about 15 minutes. Check on it once in a while to try and get the consistency that you want.

When this is all done, scoop your tomato mixture over your quinoa, serve it with your squash and you are done! Eat as is, or sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

You can eat the skin of the squash at this point, but feel free to cut the skin off as well. It is all a matter of preference. I must say that I really enjoyed the slight sweetness that the prunes added to the dish. Don’t be scared to experiment in the kitchen!

Bonus: I had enough for dinner for myself and lunch the next day.

-Joyce Huang

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