Thanksgiving

Stuffed Acorn Squash {Gluten-free}

As all who have visited this blog before know, I love stuffing things.  And squash are no exception.  Pretty convinced they’re meant for stuffing actually… nature’s perfect bowl :)
Nothing says fall more than stuffed squash.  Gourds of any kind do the trick.  It’s just so Autumn-esque.
Those who visit a lot also may notice I don’t cook a lot of pork.  I am not anti-pig or anything, I just didn’t grow up eating it.  We always had ground turkey in my house, so I’m not used to incorporating it much.  That being said, I think it’s fricken delicious.  So I just couldn’t resist throwing some in here… if you do want to omit it (either by swapping it with ground turkey or with no meat at all), just add some extra seasonings into the rice stuffing- ones that are classic to the Italian sausage flavor… fennel seed, garlic, and other Italian herbs.
Other staples that make this dish… cranberries, walnuts, parsley, and fresh Parmesan cheese.
It’s like Autumn in a gourd.  Deliciously comforting.
Serves 2
INGREDIENTS
for squash…
2 similar sized acorn squash
generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
drizzle olive oil
 
for stuffing…
1 cup cooked wild rice blend (I use a mix of wild rice and basmati- about a 1:2 ratio)
1/2 cup chopped onion (a generous half cup)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 large garlic clove
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 lb Italian sausage/ground pork (see note above if omitting or using a substitute)
1/2 cup mixed greens- kale, arugula, spinach, etc.
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I use Italian flat-leaf)
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
a sprinkle of fresh parsley and Parmesan, for garnish
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
If rice isn’t already cooked, do so now… it can cook while you do the rest :)
If making your own blend, 1/4 cup wild rice
with 3/4 cups basmati (uncooked) works well
Cook until al dente and then set side
To prep squash…
Chop a teeny sliver off the bottom of each squash, just enough to make it sit upright
(be careful not to cut more- you don’t want to cut into the
center of the squash or your stuffing will fall out!)
Chop the tops off about 1/3 of the way down the squash- think bowls here…
you want to cut enough off the top to get to the center of the squash,
but leave enough so that it has nice high walls :)
Using a spoon, scrape the insides of each squash out…
get all of the seeds and stringy flesh
Set upright on a foil-lined baking sheet
Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Turn squash over to facing down
(this helps to steam/cook the squash more quickly)
Bake for about 25 minutes, until soft and cooked through
While squash is baking, get the stuffing going…
Heat a little oil oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
Saute chopped onions (with a sprinkle of salt & pepper to season) for about 5 minutes
Chop celery and garlic…
Stir into onions along with dried thyme and let cook for about 5 more minutes
Add meat
Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently, until no longer pink
Now you’re ready to mix it all together…
Get the greens, parsley, cranberries, walnuts, and Parmesan ready
Add rice, sausage, and parsley together with above ingredients in a large mixing bowl
Add salt and pepper
Taste and adjust as desired
(If not using Italian sausage, you may need extra salt and seasonings)
Now your stuffing and squash are ready…
Scoop the stuffing into each squash until nice and full
Place the stuffed squash back on the foil-lined baking sheet
Bake for about 10 minutes, until rice is
completely cooked and everything is warmed through
Top with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan and parsley
Enjoy!!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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