It's November, which means it's time for another delicious truLOCAL recipe created by our very own Steph Kay!
Our favorite time of month is when Steph lets us know our recipe of the month is ready! This month we are excited to introduce the perfect seasonal recipe that we know you'll love. Here is a little bit more on our Stuffed Acorn Squash, from Steph Kay herself.
One of the most important aspects of eating well, is ensuring that you are eating with the seasons. As the seasons begin to turn and we head into the cooler months, our dietary needs begin to change. No longer do we need as much of the fresh fruits and berries, but our bodies require more warming foods to help us adjust to the cooler climate. Fortunately, each season offers a new array of beautiful fresh produce, and this is a great time to start experimenting with new ingredients and flavours. Not only does eating seasonally ensure that you are consuming the freshest and most nutrient dense produce, but it supports your body’s natural nutritional needs. Winter vegetables such a squash are an excellent source of immune supporting vitamin A and C, which are important for preventing colds and flus, and also help to create comfort meals like warming soups and stews.
Although butternut is the most popular of the squash family, the other members are not to be forgotten. Acorn squash look exactly what you would expect it to look like; acorns! They are typically smaller in size than other types of squash, with a dark green shell and bright orange interior. The skin on acorn squash is difficult to peel when raw, so acorn squash are best cooked in order to scoop out the sweet flesh or, in this case, used a vehicle for a delicious stuffing.
This Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe was created to be a quick and simple weeknight dinner that you can whip up with a few ingredients on hand. Rice was used in this recipe to ensure that it was naturally gluten-free but you could use any combination of grain and vegetables you like. The bacon is really the star of this dish providing all of the flavour, and an all natural cooking fat for the vegetables to keep the dish macronutrient balanced with a source of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Plus, the mixture of colours and textures in this dish help ensure that it is absolutely gourd-geous!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Serves 4
Time: 45 Minutes Difficulty: Medium
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 6 rashes bacon
- 1 large leek, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 1 cup rice, cooked
- 1⁄4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Cut the acorn squash in half, remove seeds and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and transfer to the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the stuffing.
- In a skillet on medium heat, cook bacon until brown but not crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, remove the excess bacon fat, and cook the diced leeks for 3-4 minutes until tender, and add the minced garlic for final 30 seconds.
- Add the kale and broth to the pan and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
- While the kale is cooking, dice the bacon into bite size pieces.
- Once the kale is cooked, stir in cooked rice, walnuts, dried cranberries and bacon. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the squash are done cooking remove them from the oven and fill cavities with rice stuffing.
- Return stuffed squash to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
truLOCAL + Stephanie Kay Nutrition