University Area Community Development Corporation’s Director of Operations, Erica Moody, and Wellness Coordinator, Alex Baron, joined Gayle Guyardo, the host of the nationally syndicated health and wellness show, Bloom, with a delicious recipe you can cook for your family.



  • 3 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 sage leaves, minced or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (raisins or golden berry mix ok too)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.

Prep Squash: Lay the acorn squash on it’s side, find the center and cut in half widthwise. Turn the squash half on its side again and trim off the end, creating a flat bottom. Using a sharp edge spoon or 1 tablespoon measure spoon, scrape around the inside of the squash removing the all seeds.

Roast Squash: Place the acorn squash on baking sheet cut side up. Brush with oil (or maple syrup for oil free), season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Quinoa: In a medium size pot, add quinoa, sage, garlic powder and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, fluff with fork and let quinoa rest for 10 minutes.

Assemble quinoa stuffing: To the quinoa, add the chickpeas, red onion, cranberries, salt and pepper. Just before stuffing the squash, mix in the pecans.

Stuff Squash: Fill each squash half with quinoa stuffing. Top with optional chopped parsley for a little pop of color and fresh flavor. Place in the oven at 350 degrees to rewarm if needed.

The University Area CDC’s mission is children and family development, crime prevention, and commerce growth. Its primary focus is the redevelopment and sustainability of the at-risk areas surrounding the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida. For over 20 years, University Area CDC has championed positive change in the economic, educational and social levels of the community through youth programs, adult education, affordable housing, workforce and resource assistance, and community engagement.

You can watch Bloom in the Tampa Bay Market weekdays at 2pm on WFLA News Channel 8.

Bloom is now part of DBTV Network, seen in over 300 million households worldwide, including Roku TV, and Amazon Fire.

Bloom also airs in 40 markets across the country, with a reach of approximately 36 million households, and in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Madison, WI.