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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Endless Possibilites

My latest obsession is with the acorn squash.  Not long ago, I used to bypass this little gem every time I went to the grocery store because I had no idea what to do with it.  I used it a lot when I was pureeing baby food for the little guy, but until recently I never realized that I could use it to throw together a quick and delicious dinner.  My theory on the acorn squash is similar to what I believe about the crock pot...it is almost fool proof!  You can mix together a bunch of ingredients, cook it, and voila! A delicious, healthy dinner, that took little effort.  Try the acorn squash recipe below, or feel free to experiment with your own version.  This will please both the herbivores and carnivores in your family! You won't be disappointed!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash

3/4 lb of your choice of ground meat (turkey, chicken, ground beef, pork), or you can go meatless

1 package of wild rice, quinoa, barley, couscous (or other grain of choice)

1/4 cup of chopped dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries)

2 T olive oil 

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 T pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or chopped almonds

2 T blue cheese, feta, or any other cheese you prefer

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook the wild rice (or any other grain of your choice according to package directions), set aside.  (***Note: wild rice takes about 40 minutes to cook, if you are looking for a time saver, use couscous, which cooks in about 5 minutes).

Cook the acorn squash.  First, pierce it a few times with a knife and then microwave it on high for 6 to 8 minutes.  The skin will be soft and a fork or a knife will puncture the skin easily when it is fully cooked.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then cut the squash in half, so that you have two even sides.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard.  

While the squash cooks, heat olive oil in a medium skillet.  Sauté onions and garlic over medium high heat, season with salt, and pepper.  Add the ground meat and cook until the meat is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).  

Combine, the rice, meat mixture, dried fruit, and nuts in a medium bowl.  Stir until everything is evenly mixed.  Fill each half of the acorn squash with a ample amount of the mixture.  Top each half with the crumbled cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  

Enjoy!!