I love winter squash like the acorn & butternut varieties and there are so many ways to incorporate them into meals. I cook with them year round, but Fall is the perfect time to add them to your menu if you're looking to try something new. I've even got my non squash loving mother enjoying them. Last night I made a stuffed acorn squash side dish and watched with glee (okay, simple things make me really happy) while she polished off every last bit of it.
Baked acorn squash stuffed with rice, raisins & walnuts
Usually when I bake squash I fill it with a mixed vegetable & tofu medley so it's a whole meal. But last night I didn't have time for the whole shebang, but wanted to make something healthy for my mom to eat before I drove back to my own place. This was really simple to make and delicious to eat! Here's the skinny:
Ingredients: One large acorn squash
Rice (any kind, but I used Jasmine Minute Rice that comes in microwaveable cups.)
Tamari soy sauce
1. Cut squash in half horizontally and if it won't stand up cut a small piece from each end. It's important that it stands upright in the baking dish.
2. Baste the inside of the squash first with the Tamari and then a little olive oil. A tablespoon of each on each half should be enough. It's very important to baste with the Tamari first.
3. Bake at about 350 for approx 30 minutes. The time and temp will vary according to your oven. So check every ten minutes or so to see if the squash is getting soft. When you can slice all the way through the flesh with a knife it's done.
4. While the squash is baking prepare your filling. You can certainly make rice the long way, but I use those handy dandy Minute Rice cups. It only takes 90 seconds to heat up two cups. Transfer to a bowl. Then throw in the raisins and chopped walnuts and add a tablespoon of Tamari & a tablespoon of olive oil and mix well. This should be ready for when the squash is cooked all the way through.
5. Add the rice mixture to the inside of the squash and put the rest in the baking dish around the squash. Bake another 5-10 minutes until the black raisins are plump. Then you're done.
You now have a delicious & nutritious vegetable side dish. Some people may even find that half a stuffed squash is enough for lunch. And, the sweetness of the raisins makes this appealing to children as well.