Stuffed Acorn Squash

by Simla on November 24, 2009

This is such a versatile and fun recipe to make, and seasonal and beautiful to boot! A great addition to your Thanksgiving or holiday dinner spread.

Packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins (A, B, C, E…), as well as an appropriate amount of healthy fats.

Fantastic served with a black bean dish, marinated tempeh, roasted poultry, stir-fried garlic beef, or lamb chops, and a side of your favorite greens or salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

2 small acorn squashes, washed, cut in half through the middle, cut flat on both “bottoms”, and cleaned out – with seeds and stringy, fibrous bits carved out using a spoon. You’ll end up with 4 halves.
1 cup wild rice-brown rice mix (my personal favorite is this mix here)
1/3 cup organic dried cherries, whole
1/3 cup pecans, chopped roughly
1 and 3/4 cups organic chicken broth (use vegetable broth if vegan)
1/4 cup organic orange juice
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS organic butter or unrefined coconut butter (optional – to replace 1 TBS of the olive oil in the rice)
NOTE: if using coconut butter, add to the rice in step 6; do not heat it up along with the olive oil in step 5 – it burns easily
1 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper for the rice
Additional sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prep the acorn squash, rub the insides and outside edges with some of the olive oil.
  3. Place acorn squash on cookie sheet lined with oven-safe wax paper and bake in oven for 1 hour while you prep the rest of the dish.
  4. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer for at least 30 seconds.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a 3 qt pot with lid on low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not let it burn.
  6. Stir in rinsed rice; increase to medium heat; stir until coated with olive oil and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. You’re “toasting” the rice for better flavor and digestibility.
  7. Stir in the cherries and dried pecans. Stir for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add chicken broth and orange juice to the rice. Stir to dislodge any rice stuck to the bottom and bring to a boil.
  9. Add sea salt and ground black pepper.
  10. Lower the heat to low-medium or lower, maintaining a brisk but low simmer. Cover and do not remove cover for 40 minutes.
  11. At 40 minutes, check the liquid level in the rice and done-ness of the rice. If necessary, add 1/3 more cup of liquid, bring back to a boil, and cover again. Check again in 10-15 minutes.
  12. At about the 1 hour mark, check the done-ness of the acorn squash. Use a fork. The fork should pierce the inside of the acorn squash smoothly. If not done yet, that’s ok! See the next step.
  13. Once the rice is cooked through (al dente, with a light bite to it, is great too), spoon the rice evenly into all 4 acorn squash halves.
  14. Place stuffed acorn squash back into oven at 450 minutes for 10 minutes.
  15. Check done-ness again. If not done, reduce heat to 300 degrees and leave in oven for another 10 minutes.

Variations

Enjoy!

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If you share this recipe, please include this blurb with it:

This recipe is shared with you courtesy of Simla Somturk Wickless, MBA, CHC, CNE, and founder of Delicious Health, Inc., a health, nutrition, and lifestyle consultancy whose mission is to transform busy bodies into healthy, balanced beings (TM). Learn more about Delicious Health at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com or www.delicioushealthblog.com. Have a deliciously healthy day!

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