Here's a recipe that is easy enough for a weeknight meal, but elegant enough to be served on your holiday table! It's also perfect for meal prep, as it achieves perfectly individualized portions of a balanced and complete meal, that tastes great reheated. And finally, it's a great meal idea for when you have leftover cooked grains. Hello, new fall/winter staple meal!
First, I roast the acorn squash until it's perfectly soft and caramelized on the edges. While the squash is roasting, you have time to throw together a fairly simple whole grain stuffing mixture, loaded with veggies and touched with savory seasonal herbs, crunchy nuts or seeds, and sweet pops of cranberry.
This meal is filling, nourishing, balanced, and presents beautifully.
This recipe uses 3 medium sized acorn squash, which creates 6 individual servings.
Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash
3 acorn squash
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or any nut)
2 handfuls spinach
Thyme (1 TBSP fresh or 1 tsp dried)
Sage (1 TBSP fresh or 1 tsp dried)
2 TBSP avocado oil, divided
Salt and pepper
First, roast the squash. Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and rub the interior with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast open side down for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Warm a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook until softened. Stir in the cranberries, thyme and sage, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the rice or quinoa, sunflower seeds, and salt and pepper. Add spinach, and let it wilt.
Remove stuffing mixture from heat and divide among the roasted squash halves. Garnish with crushed nuts or seeds, and a sprig of thyme or a sage leaf, for decoration (not pictured).
Serve immediately, or reheat in the oven under foil at 400F until heated through.
This can also be served over a bed of greens, as a salad. It would go great with tahini dressing drizzled over top!