Hope you all had a relaxing and filling Thanksgiving.
We had such a good time with this beautiful weather. We took an afternoon walk on the bike trail and moseyed into the kitchen around 2 o’clock to do some cooking. It was fun making the meal together.
We had a feast. We all agreed it turned out to be a little less traditional, and I was delighted to see that the meal was not meat-centric. We had stuffed acorn squash, mashed potatoes with vegan gravy, sweet potatoes in a coffee glaze, lemon brussels sprouts and lemony kale, cranberry sauce, and Eric’s smoked turkey. For dessert we had a vegan apple crisp.
99% of the meal was vegan!
I know the last thing you probably want to think about is food, BUT, I just have to share my stuffed acorn squash recipe with you. They came out beautifully.
So as you go out and enjoy this nice day – whether it’s to the mall if that’s your thing, or a jog, or just cozy up on the couch with the family, keep this dish in your vegan arsenal and it will be a perfect meal for a dinner party. It presents beautifully.
I’m a huge fan of using food as little vessels for stuffing. Stuffed peppers, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed eggplants, and now stuffed acorn squash. This meal can also be gluten-free depending on the grain you use. I used a combination of brown rice and lentils – already mixed together at Whole Foods.
Aren’t these pretty? A perfect fall meal.
Here’s the recipe. After you eat all the leftovers today, this recipe will come in handy the rest of the fall season.
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 3 organic acorn squash
- 1 Tbs. coconut oil
- 2 cups cooked rice mixture (brown and wild rice, lentils or other grains)
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 Tbs vegan butter
- 1 onions (finely diced)
- 4 celery stalks (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ Tbsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. dried sage
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon)
- ½ cup mixed dried fruit (raisins and cherries)
- 1 cup roasted chestnuts (diced)
- 2 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pistachios)
- 1/2 cup chives (finely minced)
- seeds of 1 small pomegranate
- 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
Cook the rice mixture. I used a combination of brown rice and lentils I found at Whole Foods. You can just use brown rice and wild rice, or simply brown rice. Cooking times vary depending on the grain. For the brown rice/lentil mixture, the ratio of water (or broth) to grain is 2:1. Add 2 cups of grain-rice to the pot with 4 cups of water or broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and about a quarter of the squash flesh (to make room the filling). Rub the circular edges of the squash with coconut oil and place squash halves, cut side down. Bake for 30 minutes.
While the squash is baking, prepare the filling. Heat butter in a deep skillet. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then add turmeric, bay leaves, and the cinnamon stick, stir to coat with oil and fry for another minute. Next add onion, celery, orange zest, ginger, sage, dried fruit and chestnuts. Cook until the mixture softens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Gently roast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until fragrant and golden.
Add the rice into a mixing bowls and add all the contents of the skillet.
Place rice mixture into each squash. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until squash flesh is tender. Remove foil during the last 10 minutes of baking.
Serve with pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts, and chives.