Stuff An Acorn Squash, Not A Turkey

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I launched this mini “save the turkey” campaign via my Facebook page last week wherein I actually paid $20.00 to adopt a turkey, which equates to sponsoring a month of food for the poor little guy to offset what he might have sold for at the market to become someone’s dinner Thursday (yikes take a breath!).  This brought on the usual slew of “what are you gonna eat for dinner if not a turkey?” commentary from people who think that vegetarians/vegans only eat lettuce.  Oh, and for this behavior, I was basically called a Communist by one of my Republican friends.  A Communist, really?  Huh.

While Mr. Wonderful and I basked in the yum that is Chipotle tonight, chasing a Costco expedition high that ended with the purchase of more wine, cheese and bread than two people should even contemplate purchasing, we discussed what parts of Thanksgiving we liked best and it was hand’s down:  sides and desserts. Mr. Wonderful maintains that basically you eat like 2 pieces of dry turkey out of obligation and then head right for the stuffing, cranberry chutney, potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, 7-layer salad, sweet potatoes and dinner rolls.  I don’t disagree.  As long as I can remember I headed right for the scalloped potatoes, the spinach gratin, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, and of course, the homemade yeast rolls.  Top it off with a little pumpkin pie, and…oh, I forgot to mention the endless precursors to Thanksgiving dinner, where you stuff yourself before you stuff yourself with as many gherkins that will fit in your mouth at once, black olives you wear on the tips of your fingers and nibble off that taste like the tin can they fell out of, little cubes of cheddar “fancy” cheese where the serving size is a fist-full, along with all you can eat Wheat Thins and Triscuits, I mean, seriously, this is Americana at it’s finest.  Who needs a turkey? Not us.  Oh, and keep those little wieners in bbq sauce to yourself too. Sick.  Sick.

Here is my “main dish” for Thanksgiving, it mixes a few of my fave sides all into one delish, not to mention beautiful dish.  Give it a try, I bet you will serve more of this than that Turkey Lurkey.  I have yet to go home with leftovers.  Consequently, if you do have leftovers, you can wrap these individual portions in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks, defrost in fridge and warm back up in the oven to rehash their goodness when you need a quick bite to eat, post food coma day.

Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • 6 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice (), rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tsp EVOO, optional
  • 4 green onions (white and pale green parts), chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped granny smith apple tossed in a bit of lemon juice to keep from browning
  • 1 T fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped and toasted pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed tangerine or blood orange juice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange squash halves cut side down in baking dish or roasting pan. Bake until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make filling. In large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to boil. Add wild rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Drain if necessary.
  3. In another large saucepan, bring remaining 2 cups of water to boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes.
  4. In large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add green onions, celery, apples, and sage, and cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add dried fruits and nuts and cook, stirring often, until heated through. Using a fork, fluff quinoa and wild rice, then add both to skillet. Add juice and mix until heated through. Season with salt.
  5. To serve, remove squash from oven and arrange on serving platter. Spoon filling into each squash cavity and serve.

More pics to come.  This recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times, 2007.

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