The following is a guest post. Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and wheat, and maintaining a healthy weight. Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation. Look for Amy’s first cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 120 Easy & Delicious Meals You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, which will be released in January 2011.
One of my favorite parts of fall is the food. I love spicy gingerbread, warm spicy mochas, and I especially love squash. Yes, I can get it all year long but it tastes best when it’s in season.
There’s really not a certain variety I like more than others. Each has it’s special place in my heart. Spaghetti squash makes perfect, naturally gluten-free noodles. My oven roasts sugar pumpkins en mass every year which, once cooled, are promptly pureed and frozen for later use. Butternut squash makes excellent soup, breads, and it’s darn good right out of the oven.
Then, there’s acorn squash. It’s smaller size makes it perfect for slicing in half, stuffing, and serving. It makes a gorgeous presentation that says, “Fall is here!” and “I want to make this meal special.”
Isn’t that really what we all want? To make those we love most feel special with the meals we create?
Stuffing squash is versatile, too. You can make it sweet or savory, vegetarian or with meat. I’ve stuffed acorn squash with many things but this is one of my favorites. Curried brown rice & lentils is a close second.
Some other delicious ways to say “fall” and make loved ones happy:
- Chipotle Chicken & Rice Stuffed Squash from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
- Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash from Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
- Butternut Squash Pancakes from The Gluten-Free Homemaker
- Pumpkin Streusel Bread from Cook It Allergy Free
Apple & Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 2 – 4 as a side
- 1 medium acorn squash
- kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
- 1 medium apple, peeled and cubed into ¼ inch
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon good quality cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons agave, divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the outside of the squash, cut it in half, and remove the seeds. Season the squash flesh lightly with salt and pepper. Place the squash flesh side down in a baking dish and add about ¼ – ½ inch of water to the pan. Place the pan uncovered into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
While squash is baking, prepare the stuffing. Combine apple walnuts, dates, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon agave, and melted butter in a bowl. After 30 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and divide the stuffing between the two halved, placing the stuffing in the cavity of the squash.
Cover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes , heat remaining one tablespoon of agave slightly in the microwave. Uncover the squash, baste with agave and bake for another 10 – 20 minutes, or until squash flesh and apples are tender. Serve as desired, either as halves or cut into smaller pieces.
You can view the previous Squash Fest posts here: