Healthier Thanksgiving Tastes Good!
Makes 1 squash, serves 2 - you can multiply for larger group meals and it’s about same work time as mash potatoes and gravy but tastes WAY BETTER, impresses guests, & is LESS WORK if you make a simplified version of this below and know how to wash and chop veggies efficiently using a blender, food processor, or have a work helper!
1 winter squash, like acorn, kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicata, spaghetti or any other grapefruit-sized (or slightly larger) squash like one of my favorite Butternut squash.
This recipe makes about 2 to 3 cups of filling.
General amounts for filling -- to equal 2 to 3 cups total:
1/2 to 1 cup protein —ground bison, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu (optional)
1 to 2 cups veggies — onions, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, greens like spinach
1/2 cup cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, couscous, millet, farro, brown/wild rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded goat mozza or 1% milk cheese
1 to 3 teaspoons herbs or spices ( try Mrs. Dash extra spicy or Epicure Lemon Dilly, and a bit of nutmeg - YUM!)
Food Processor, or Blender with chop or pulse function (optional)
1) Prepare the squash for roasting: Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Slice the squash in half from stem to root and scoop out the seeds.
Transfer the squash to a baking dish: Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with foil and place the dish in the oven.
2) Roast the squash: Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash.
3) Prepare the filling: While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. Depending on the size of your squash, 2 to 3 cups of combined ingredients is usually sufficient. You can combine leftovers from other meals (cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, etc.) or you can prepare a fresh filling. Cook any raw meats and raw vegetables and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the spices, herbs, and white or red chili pepper to your liking.
4) Stuff the squash halves: Flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Rub the inside with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a tiny amount of salt (kosher or rose crystal is best) and light dusting of cayenne pepper or nutmeg. Divide the filling between the halves — it's fine to really stuff the wells and also to mound the filling on top.
5) Bake the stuffed squash halves until bubbly: Re-cover the pan with the foil and bake the halves for another 15 to 20 minutes until both are hot and bubbly. Top with extra cheese and serve immediately.
Stuffed Squash for a Crowd: This recipe is easily multiplied to feed whatever sized gathering you are hosting. The squashes and the filling can also be prepped in advance and warmed just before serving. One half of a squash is typically a good main course meal for an adult if the optional protein is added or extra nuts for the vegan version.
Zen Yahweh Fitness® will help you achieve your goals with accredited training and positive encouragement to help you stay focused as you continue to commit to your goals of an active life style, with balanced nutrition. Zen Yahweh Fitness will tailor an exercise program for your specific needs and encourage regular attendance to workouts, because consistency of regular training and alternating workout variants, accompanied by portion control and a balanced diet are key to your success!