Monday, November 09, 2015

Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Apples, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Well hello to you! Yep, it's been a long time but I'm back. Now that my kitchen helper is almost 16 months old, he loves to supervise in the kitchen from his high chair. And that means more time for me to cook and develope recipes!

Not to say I haven't been cooking the past few months, but since his attention span was so short, I was opting for quick and easy meals that I could throw together in a few minutes. The old pressure cooker and crock pot have really come in clutch the past few months.

Today I'm back with a recipe. I've actually never cooked acorn squash before, but was inspired by a friend's Instagram photo (hey Eva!) to try. And wow - was I impressed and surprised at how easy it was. Not only is it pretty quick to put together, but the flavor of the squash itself is sweet and savory, which lends itself to a wide variety of fillings.

Although I've opted for a vegan filling for this recipe, you could easily throw some sausage in yours, or amp up the crispy panko topping with parmesan. You could also toss in some dried cranberries or golden raisins for a little sweet snap of flavor!

The recipe couldn't be simpler. I halved and scooped out the seeds of 2 acorn squash, and then drizzled them with melted butter, a little sprinkle of brown sugar, and salt and pepper. They roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Then for the filling, I started with a lovely wild rice mixture and added some fresh apples and toasted pine nuts. If you don't have pine nuts, try toasted pecans. Either nut will add a delightful little crunch to the recipe. Topped off with panko bread crumbs, they were put back into the oven to toast the tops and bring the flavors all together. At the end, you have a delicious and savory dish that looks incredible! This would be a wonderful side dish for the upcoming holidays.

Any other tried and true ways you like to cook your acorn squash??

Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Apples, and Toasted Pine Nuts
Serves 3-4

2 acorn squash
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (or brown rice)
1 tbsp coconut aminos (or Bragg's)
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
1 tsp no-salt seasoning blend (I used Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute)
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup diced apple
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (or pecans or walnuts, diced)
1/2 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 450. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake until just fork tender, about 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat up olive oil in medium sized pan. Saute onion 4-5 minutes, until becoming soft and opaque. Add in garlic and saute another minute or two. Remove from heat and stir in rice, aminos, seasonings, apples, and nuts. Stir well to combine. 

In a small bowl, combine butter and panko crumbs Set aside. 

Remove squash from oven. Fill each piece with rice filling and top with panko crumbs. Place back into the oven and bake another 20-25 minutes, until top is toasted brown and filling in heated through. 

Serve and enjoy!!

No comments: