In my latest Spud delivery I ordered an acorn squash. I am a big fan of these fall favourites but haven’t done much creative cooking with them lately. Mostly just squash based soups – which I now have enough in the freezer to last for my next multi-day craving for their creamy warming goodness. So off to Foodgawker for some inspiration and I found this great recipe for stuffed squash! Sticking with my tradition of changing a few ingredients and steps I ended up with a new favourite that will now be included in my dinner/lunch rotation.
Original recipe: Spoonuniversity.com
Modification: me 🙂
Maple Glazed Stuffed Squash
1 acorn squash
1 tbsp Earth Balance butter melted (or regular dairy butter, olive or coconut oil)
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1/4 to 1/2 inch fresh ginger, chopped finely
3-4 leaves Swiss chard (or other hearty green such as: kale, bok choy, spinach, etc.), torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup cooked brown rice (*see note at bottom about cooking rice)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast or grated parmesan cheese for topping
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2. Fill a baking dish with 1/2-inch of water. Set aside.
3. Cut acorn squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds and strings (**see note on what to do with these).
4. Place both halves facing up in baking dish. Cut off a sliver of the rounded bottom if the squash won’t stay in place.
5. Stir together melted Earth Balance and maple syrup in a small bowl. Pour evenly over squash halves, pouring any extra into the hollows of the squash.
6. Bake squash for ~45 minutes. Check at around the 30 minute mark for doneness as squash sizes and cooking times may vary.
7. Place walnuts in a small pie or bread pan and in to the oven alongside the squash to toast for about 3-5 minutes. Once toasted, set aside to cool before chopping.
8. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a mid-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until just starting to soften. Add mushrooms and ginger and sauté until mushrooms are tender. Lastly, add swiss chard and heat through until it has wilted. Then turn off heat.
9. Add cooked rice and walnuts to the pan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (** see note about leftovers)
Stuffing for the squash
10. Remove squash from oven and discard the water and pour any accumulated maple syrup/butter liquid into rice filling in pan. Stir to combine. Fill both halves with rice stuffing and top with sprinkling of nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.
*Note – When cooking brown rice I really recommend doing so in a seasoned broth (I prefer vegetable) and add a few bay leaves. Makes a huge difference and the extra flavouring is great with savoury dishes like this!
**Note – This recipe makes far more than what will fill the hollows of the squash. My favourite leftover idea is mixing some nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese) in the filling and putting a bunch in a tortilla wrap topped with hot sauce. Great pack lunch!!