You guys loved my Pumpkin Raisin Muffin recipe last week so how about another fall favourite? Acorn squash! I’m see it now in stores and it reminded me of this recipe I just LOVE in my Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World recipe book (which by the way is jam packed full of recipes to use at Thanksgiving or Christmas…) It’s Holiday Stuffed Acorn Squash!
I was first inspired to make a recipe like this by watching Forks Over Knives and saw them serving a lovely version for their holiday plant based meal. I decided to make a recipe and cram in as many goodies as possible to make it burst with flavor, there’s mushrooms, celery, pecans, cranberries, wild rice and brown rice in these stuffed squash halves. Instead of butter or margarine I glaze them with a nice balsamic vinegar so those the flavor explode in your mouth with sweet, savory and tangy. When I serve these for holiday meals they are a huge hit!
If you are trying to think of a plant-based centrepiece to your holiday meals this year why not try a stuffed vegetable? I also have several others for you to check out as well Quinoa Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Greek Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Peppers, Greek Rice Stuffed Eggplant. A fat free stuffed vegetable is a great way to pack in all the flavor without extra calories and show your omnivore friends and delicious holiday entree they wouldn’t otherwise get. 🙂
Plant-Based Holiday Stuffed Acorn Squash With Wild Rice, Mushrooms & Cranberries
Makes 4 -6 stuffed acorn squash halves
¾ cup dried brown rice, rinsed and cooked
¼ cup dried wild rice, rinsed and cooked
2-3 cups vegetable broth (homemade or low sodium), divided
1/3-1/2 cup dried mushrooms
3 medium or 2 large acorn squash
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or brown sugar
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 celery stalks, diced
¼ cup dried cranberries (no sugar added variety or sweetened with apple juice)
½ -1 tsp. Herbamare or salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup raw pecans, toasted – see Note
NOTE: To toast raw pecans, preheat oven to 350° F/177° C. Place pecans on baking sheet and toast for about 4-5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
1. If using a rice cooker (I use a Zojirushi), cook your rice 1 hour before you start making the squash. Rinse rice and place in rice cooker. Fill to appropriate line with vegetable stock, not water. Add chopped and rinsed dried mixed mushrooms. Add a little salt and pepper if desired. Stir to combine and cook on mixed rice/white rice setting (depending what kind of rice cooker you have). Let steam 10 minutes after done cooking and fluff with a fork.
2. Heat the oven to 400° F / 204° C and place a rack in the middle position.
3. Cut squash in half with a sharp knife and de-seed. Make sure to get out all the stringy bits inside.
4. Place the squash -hollow side up – on a baking sheet, and spray some cooking spray lightly on the tops and insides of the squash halves. Brush maple syrup on the tops and insides as well, and season with salt and fresh pepper. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until ‘fork tender’.
5. Pour the vegetable broth or water into a pan and when it’s hot, add the onion, and celery. Cook this for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just softened.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked rice, pecans, and cranberries. Add salt and fresh pepper if desired.
7. Scoop the rice filling into the roasted squash halves (about ¾ cup for each if 4 halves, ½ cup if 6 smaller halves)
8. Continue roasting the squash for 20 to 30 minutes more – until it’s completely tender, the edges have started to brown a little, and the filling is hot in the middle.
9. Serve the squash warm, with balsamic vinegar on the side as a dip, and a nice salad.