Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Food cooked in its own bowl–does it get any easier than that? I love making stuffed squash–not only is it cozy and delicious, but stuffed squash is a great way to use up small bits of leftover fresh vegetables and turn them into something amazing.

All winter squash are high in fiber, low in fat and an excellent source of vitamins, including beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C and potassium. It is also filling due to its high fiber content, and very inexpensive! Win-win-win-win! A serving of stuffed squash is 1/2 of a squash–we usually make more though, since a stuffed squash half makes a completely amazing lunch later.

There are endless combinations of foods for this dish, and I almost never make it the same twice, but this is one of our favorites. It has a nice, Italian flavor that spices up the squash without being overpowering. So grab an acorn squash (or two) and make your own delicious creation!

Stuffed Acorn Squash (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 4 tablespoons fresh, grass-fed butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small, organic onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves organic garlic
  • 4-6 sun dried tomato halves
  • 1 small bunch kale, washed, trimmed and chopped (about 4 cups raw)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. organic chicken sausage (ours was Italian sausage)
  • Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup organic, mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cover the sun dried tomato halves with very hot water and let soak.
  3. Wash the outside of the squash and dry carefully. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half widthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. To make sure each half will stand up properly, trim a little bit of the squash ends, making a flat edge.
  4. Rub the inside of the squash with 1 tablespoon of butter each and put the squash, cut side up on the baking sheet. Roast the squash for 45 minutes or until the squash flesh is soft.
  5. While squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the sausage from its casing and add to the skillet. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the sausage and add the onion to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  7. Remove the sun dried tomatoes from the water, chop, and add to the pot.
  8. Add the kale, sausage and water to the pan, tossing all ingredients well. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes or until squash is cooked.
  9. Remove squash from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle (about 15 minutes). Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  10. Scoop roasted flesh from the cooked acorn squash, leaving about 1/4″ of flesh to keep the squash shell stable. Return the squash shells (scooped side up) to the baking sheet.
  11. Add the kale mixture to the bowl and combine everything well. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
  12. Stuff the squash halves with the squash-kale mix, top each half with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  13. Serve immediately.

 

Sautéed Cabbage and Apples

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...

We had our first day of actual, chilly weather today. Really, it was just morning chilliness, but still, it made a believer of me that fall is actually coming! Last year, we had a late freeze that took about 80% of our state’s apple crop. It was a sad fall. North Carolina apples were tricky to find and pricey, so we didn’t cook with them much and I definitely didn’t can any apple butter. Dishes like this one made the most of our apples, by using them as part of a larger dish.

Not only is this dish a delicious way to enjoy local cabbage and apples, but it also is very economical and deeply satisfying. Unlike some vegetable dishes, this seems to taste even better warmed up later, so make plenty! We are making it again this week with some local smoked sausage for an early Octoberfest supper. You could also serve this as a main course by itself with some crusty bread and have a terrific rustic winter meal! If you want a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use 3 tbsp. of olive oil and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Sautéed Cabbage and Apples

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 3 large apples (granny smith or gala), peeled, cored and sliced thick
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon pieces over medium heat and stir often to keep them from sticking. Cook until browned, but not too crisp (about 6-7 minutes).
  2. Remove bacon from pot and set aside. Reduce drippings to about 3 tbsp.
  3. Add onion and carrots to the pot and cook over medium/high heat about 4 minutes until onion is translucent.
  4. Add apple cider vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits.</li
  5. Add the cabbage and stir to combine. Cook about 10 minutes until cabbage softens. Add apples, stock and coriander. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Check frequently to make sure the cabbage is not sticking. Add a bit of water or more stock if needed.
  6. Add bacon back into the pot and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve!

Pumpkin-Kale-Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Okay, okay, I have jumped on the crazy pumpkin bandwagon at last. I was doing just fine resisting all the pumpkin muffin, pumpkin, cookie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin smoothie recipes. Because, you know, I’m still hanging on to summer. It helps a little that fall hasn’t arrived in NC, at least not in any meaningful way. Fall here is like a teenage girl texting–here one second, completely distracted and bumping into people the next.

Summer seems to focus on us like a laser beam, so I’m sticking with it until fall decides to pay attention.

I did decide to acknowledge fall this weekend, however, when I saw this recipe from Amy at What Jew Wanna Eat. It is easy, delicious, and made the most of foods that are available right now, like fresh bell peppers from our garden, organic kale, sweet onions and locally made organic cheddar cheese. The only substitutions I made from her recipe were to use kale instead of spinach and plain almond milk instead of milk–both worked great! I added the chopped kale raw and it cooked just fine. Next time, I may try this with sweet potato instead of pumpkin since we are typically up to our ears in them by November!

This recipe is flavorful, nourishing, and absolutely delicious. Measurements and cooking times are spot on. All the thing you want in a healthy, fall (or late summer) supper. Click HERE to get the full recipe!

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