When presented with his evening’s dinner options yesterday afternoon, my husband choose stuffed acorn squash. To be honest, I still wasn’t feelin’ it, but he rarely expresses an opinion in regard to what I should cook, so I figured I should go with his request. I ended up enjoying it a lot, as I always do – so maybe that means I should listen to my husband more? No, that can’t be right.
Anyways, this dish has a lot going for it – it’s super versatile, it’s pretty damn healthy, and it’s super fast to make. Perfect for a weeknight where I don’t want to resort to take-out, but I also want to spend the bulk of my evening on the couch, under a blanket.
Brown Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
makes 4 servings
2 medium size acorn squash
1 bag 90-second brown rice
1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
2-3 oz. goat cheese
1 T olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1.) Start by dealing with your squash. Cut each one in half (this can be kind of hard, so make sure you have a large, very sharp chef’s knife – and watch your fingers!!). Once they’re cut in half, scrape out the guts with a spoon and discard.
2.) To cook them, you can roast them in the oven (line a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash cut side down on the sheet – cook at 350° for about 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender) – but that takes a while. If you don’t want to wait that long, you can microwave them! (This is especially time saving when you’re just making two servings.) Place a piece of squash cut side down on a microwave safe plate, and microwave for 5-7 minutes, or until fork tender.
3.) While you’re cooking the squash, assemble your other ingredients. Heat your brown rice, and combine in a bowl with cherries, pecans, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and chipotle chili powder. Stir well so everything is evenly distributed.
4.) Preheat your oven to 350°. When the squash is ready, place them cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Crumble a bit of goat cheese into the bottom of each squash half, and then spoon some brown rice mixture on top of the goat cheese. Crumble more goat cheese on top of the rice, then add more rice on top of the cheese. Keep layering the two until the squash is nice and full.
5.) Put the stuffed squash into the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until everything is just heated through. Serve and enjoy!
You can serve these with a salad, or another side dish of your choice – or they’re great on their own! Of course, I love that they can be adapted according to whatever you have in the house – you could switch out the dried cherries for dried cranberries, or sundried tomatoes. The pecans could be replaced with walnuts, or pine nuts, or peanuts. You could use feta instead of the goat cheese. The possibilities are really endless!
Time to get back to the couch,