Stuffed Acorn Squash
A few weeks ago Ryan and I went to a pumpkin patch. Now, we do not carve pumpkins, but we felt like it was a fun seasonal thing to do one weekend. We tried carving pumpkins once, and both decided it was just not for us. As a child, I never liked it for two reasons. First, my family and a group of friends always held a carving contest, and my brother won every year. Every year. Every. Year. Bitter? Me? No. Never…
The real reason I hate carving pumpkins is that it’s disgusting. As a child I refused to finger paint so it should surprise no one that sticking my hands in a pumpkin to scoop out all the goop was never something I considered a good time. When Ryan and I were first dating, we decided to try carving pumpkins because I was sure that as an adult, I could tolerate the stringy, icky pumpkin guts. I was wrong. I still didn’t like it. Not surprisingly, neither did Ryan. So, hopefully we never have children lest they feel like total outcasts for never being able to carve pumpkins like all the other kids.
Back to the pumpkin patch. We bought a couple of little pumpkins for decoration, and I decided to also pick up two acorn squash. I was so excited when I saw them because I was convinced that I love acorn squash. Well, I do, but it wasn’t until I got home that I realized the only way I’ve ever had acorn squash is swimming in butter and brown sugar. This is not a bad thing by any means, but I felt like I should challenge myself to experience the squash in a new way. Surely acorn squash is more versatile than that, I thought. So I looked for recipes everywhere, but none really grabbed my attention. It seems that the acorn squash is best served sweet or stuffed with some variation of fillings. I didn’t really find any applications that involved incorporating the squash in the dish, so I found a stuffing recipe that appealed to me.
Since this is a vegetarian dish, and I’m not sure Ryan is ready to make that leap just yet, I took this over to my mom for lunch one afternoon. Neither of us had ever eaten squash in a savory dish, so we didn’t know what to expect. Since my mom HATES mushrooms, I chopped them up very small – using my food processor, actually – in an attempt to disguise them. I did the same with the onions. The resulting texture was very nice; it just seemed like flavored rice instead of chunks of vegetables which was pleasant in this dish. We both thought the filling was delicious. It tasted meaty so we didn’t feel like we were eating a vegetarian dish; it was definitely hearty. The mushrooms and spices gave it a sausage-like flavor, and the squash was rich and creamy. My only complaint is that there seemed to be a disconnect between the filling and the squash. I wish there was some way to better incorporate the two. I would definitely make this again, especially considering how filling it was for such a low POINTS value.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash
6 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp white wine
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Split the squash in half, stem to bottom, and scoop out the seeds. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place the squash on it cut side down. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, sage, thyme and pepper. Cook 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the rice, cheese and wine.
Once the squash are fork-tender, turn them cut side up and fill each with a quarter of the rice mixture. Bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
Source: Weight Watchers
4 servings | 4 POINTS