I like the idea of a one-recipe dinner. Protein, carbs and veggies all in one cohesive dish.
The cute little acorn squash that are everywhere in the markets these days work as perfect “bowls” in this recipe, to fill with whatever your heart desires.
Squash are prolific this time of year, and there are dozens of varieties – butternut, spaghetti, delicata, buttercup, hubbard – even pumpkin is in the squash family. The acorn is sweet, but not as sweet as the butternut, and is usually a great size for feeding two people.
The recipe below is how I stuffed and seasoned my squash, but it can really be filled with so many different things. Substitute shredded chicken or ground turkey for the beef; double up on the veggies for a vegetarian dish; add in sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, peppers – I could go on. I used some Asian flavorings and seasonings, but any spices in your cabinet can add an interesting flavor.
The key to this recipe template is to roast your squash until the flesh is tender, have all the filling ready and cooked at the same time, and to fill and then cook a little bit longer before eating. Scoop a little squash out with your spoon as you eat the filling to enjoy all the flavors at once.
Stuffed Acorn Squash – Feeds 4
2 medium acorn squash, about 2 pounds each
¾ – 1 pound ground beef
1 cup shredded white cabbage
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Halve the squashes, and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.
Rub the flesh with some olive oil and salt, and place them face down in a shallow baking dish. Pour about 1/4 –inch of water in the bottom of the pan.
Bake on 375 F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierce-able with a fork.
While they’re baking, sauté the onion and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the cabbage and any other vegetables you use, and let cook until tender.
Meanwhile, sautee the ground beef until brown and cooked. Stir the beef into the vegetables. Season with soy sauce, tamari sauce and sesame oil to taste.
Pour the water out of the baking dish, and turn the squash right side up to form little bowls. Season with a little salt and pepper. Pack the squash with the filling and return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
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