As I write this our woodstove is aglow with the roar of it’s fire, the trees outside are bare and blowing about and darkness is creeping into our daylight more and more each day. That means one thing. Autumn is here and winter is almost upon us. There are few meals that speak to me of autumn chills, home-bound comfort and deep satisfaction more than this dish. Everyone in our family loves it too, which is a huge bonus. Stuffed squash is a wholly satisfying meal in and of itself. I tend to make this dish on a day when I have some time at home and yet don’t want to overly fuss with being “in the kitchen” chopping, dicing and prepping. With just a few minutes to start rice cooking and getting the squash in the oven you are good to go until you assemble it all. It’s easy and nourishing and can be adapted to whatever you tend to have in the fridge for rice, vegetables or protein. It’s my favorite type of meal. May your shared meals reflect the warmth and comfort we so desire throughout the coming chilly winter days.
Stuffed Squash with Roasted Pecans
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
2 Acorn Squash (many squash will work here: delicatta, spaghetti or kuri)
2 cups of rice
2 tbsp of vegetable flakes
1 vegetable or chicken bouillon
1/3 cup roasted pecans
1 tsp garlic, granulated
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Halve the acorn squash and scoop out seeds and stringy flesh from center. Lay squash flat down on deep baking pan and add water into base of dish, about 1/2 inch worth. Cover pan with aluminum foil and steam for 30-45 minutes or until soft when pierced with fork. Time will vary based on type and size of squash used. While squash is cooking, start your rice. Bring 4 cups of water, vegetable flakes, garlic, thyme and bouillon to a boil. Add in rice, lower heat and cover. When both rice and squash are done then carefully scoop rice mixture into squash. Top with cheese and chopped roasted pecans and heat for another 10-15 minutes. I often top with dried cranberries, if I have them. Add salt, pepper to taste.