I just can't seem to get enough winter squash. I mean, what is not to love about it? It tastes great and it is so versatile! You can make such a variety of meals with this one category of vegetable. I plan to regale you with wonderful winter squash recipes throughout the fall, but for now let me share this one.
Stuffed Acorn (or carnival) Squash Doesn't it look delicious?
I stuffed mine with a mixture of quinoa, craisins, golden raisins and walnut. Feel free to substitute rice and whatever herbs/veg/fruit/nut that you desire. You could even stuff it with a traditional bread stuffing. This is definatly one of those recipes for when you just want to use up some stuff in your fridge/pantry.
Start by cleaning your squash. Just wash it, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon.
The squash I used is actually a Carnival Squash. It is very similar in shape and in flavor to an Acorn Squash, the coloring is just a little more interesting on the carnival squash.
Rim the edges with a little olive oil and/or spray a baking sheet with baking spray.
Bake them at 400 degrees for 20-40 minutes (depending on size of the squash). You want it very tender, but you still want it to hold it's shape. While the squash is cooking, prepare your stuffing. We will discuss stuffing at the end.
When the squash is done, turn oven down to 350 degrees. Bring the squash out of the oven and stuff them with warm stuffing. Then, place them back into the oven if needed while you prepare drinks, salad, or any other additions to dinner.
When ready to serve, simply place the whole squash on a plate, and scoop out bites of stuffing and squash flesh with a fork.
Let's talk stuffing.
For the quinoa, I simply cooked multi-colored quinoa following the package directions. With just a couple moments left of cooking time, I added a couple tablespoons of craisins, raisins and walnuts. I also added a little curry powder, as I love the combination of curry and squash.
Another great option would be an herbed rice. Cook up some rice following package direction. When the rice is completely cooked add an assortment of chopped herbs. Here you can play with whatever herbs and flavor profiles you like. If you want to add in some diced fresh vegetable, do so a few minutes before the rice is done to allow the veggies to steam a little.
Mexican - onion, poblano pepper, black beans and lots of cilantro.
Italian - basil, rosemary, oregano. Top with diced fresh tomato.
Spicy - add some Sriracha, a chopped fresno pepper and a bunch of chopped parsley.
The options really are almost endless.
Traditional stuffing - take a couple cups of cubed toast or stuffing croutons. Add some sauteed onion, maybe some chopped mushrooms and enough vegetable stock to hydrate the stuffing. Add a little sage and/or poultry seasoning. I would suggest even adding a dollop of cranberry sauce into the squash before adding the stuffing. This version will bring back the cozy feelings of Thanksgiving.
So next time you are at the grocery store or the farm market, get yourself a squash, take it home and just stuff it! :-)
Today make nourishing yourself a priority.
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.