Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stuffed Squash

Although some people don't enjoy the taste of squash, I say they just haven't had it prepared correctly. My grandparents always had acorn squash growing in their garden so it was a staple on our holiday dinner table. This morning we ventured to a pumpkin patch where they were selling a wide variety of squash so I had to buy at least one of each kind!

Stuffed acorn or butternut squash is one of my favorite fall dishes. It's not only comforting, but it's a wonderfully healthy and filling meal. This version is meat-free, but you can easily substitute ground beef or turkey for the beans. Pair this meal with a glass of red wine and keep any leftovers for an perfectly portable lunch the next day.




1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Place cut and cleaned squash halves in a 13x9 baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside.


3. Place diced tomatoes, black beans, pizza sauce, oregano, garlic powder and minced onion in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until rice is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and giardiniera.




4. Scoop filling evenly into each squash "well". Bake for 45 minutes.

5. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes longer. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.


Stuffed Squash
Serves 4

All you need:
2 small acorn squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can pizza sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 cup instant brown rice
4 oz. light cream cheese
2 tablespoons hot pickled giardiniera (optional)
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place cut and cleaned squash halves in a 13x9 baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Place diced tomatoes, black beans, pizza sauce, oregano, garlic powder and minced onion in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until rice is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and giardiniera.
4. Scoop filling evenly into each squash "well". Bake for 45 minutes.
5. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes longer. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

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