3 tablespoons olive oil
About 1 cup diced yellow onion ( 1/4-inch dice)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water and drained
2 cups vegetable stock
½ cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
4 small edible pumpkins, Sweet Dumpling squash or small acorn squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each)
1 ½ cups diced, peeled butternut squash
¼ cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), pine nuts, or chopped walnuts, toasted
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, and heat over medium heat.
When it is hot, add the onion and ground cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the quinoa to the saucepan and stir to coat the grains. Add the stock and raise the heat to high. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, add the cranberries, and cover the pan. Cook at a slow simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the top off each pumpkin, reserving the tops, if desired, for decorative effect. Or cut squashes in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. If the pumpkins do not sit flat, trim a small slice off the bottom to create a flat base. Place the pumpkins on a rimmed baking sheet and set it aside.
Place the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, and heat it over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the cubed butternut squash and cook without stirring until the squash is browned on the bottom, 2 minutes. Toss to turn the pieces (or use a spatula to accomplish this) and cook, stirring frequently, until the squash is just tender, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
When the quinoa is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the toasted pepitas, cinnamon and lemon juice. Add the butternut squash, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Divide the quinoa filling among the pumpkin shells; do not pack the mixture. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the quinoa is hot and the flesh of the pumpkins is tender when pierced with a skewer or fork, 45 to 60 minutes. Avoid overcooking, because the pumpkins may collapse. If you intend to use the pumpkin tops, add these to the oven during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Serve immediately, with the tops (if using) leaning against the stuffed pumpkins. Enjoy!