The weather has been turning into fall, so what does that mean for my readers? A lot more squash recipes!
When I go grocery shopping in the city, there’s a Superfresh and a Whole Foods right across the street from each other. So, me being the unemployed person I am, I start at Superfresh and finish at Whole Foods, if need be. Imagine my disappointment when I walked into Superfresh and there was NO SQUASH to be found! Nothing. No butternut, spaghetti, or acorn. What is this nonsense? I was really disappointed. I was in the market for an acorn squash that day.
So I wandered over to Whole Foods, and alas, there they were. 99 cents a pound. Seems cheap right? Yeah well, the thing with squash, is that you want to look for one that doesn’t have bruises, blemishes or soft spots and is heavy for its size. I picked out two perfect, heavy ones…. My bill was a little over $8. 4lb acorn squash?! Yeah, crazy right? But oh so delicious.
I wanted to make a really filling, healthy stuffing for these squash (my plural for squash = squeesh), so when I cut them in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon, I can use them as bowls!
Like I’ve told you guys before, I can’t use my oven in my apartment, so I microwaved the squash. This method is perfectly fine. Actually, it’s my preferred method of making spaghetti squash.
BUT if you’d like to use your oven, maybe to warm up the house a little while the weather is getting unexpectedly chilly, feel free to chop the squash in half, hull it out, and then place it in a baking dish cut side up with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30-45 minutes at 375 until it gets soft.
The awesome parts about this recipe? It’s incredibly filling. It serves four (two of the halves went to the boy). It’s incredibly delicious. And it’s only 400 calories per half, with stuffing.
Chicken Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash
4 links of chicken sausage (I like Al Fresco’s Sweet Apple)
1 1/2 c. cooked brown rice (you could also use Quinoa for more protein)
1 small-medium-ish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. of your favorite pasta sauce (preferably something chunky with lots of spices and herbs)
1 bag of fresh baby spinach leaves
8 sun dried tomatoes, not in oil (you can usually find them in the produce section), chopped
To prepare the acorn squash:
I like to hold the squash with a dish towel (to protect my hand a little if the knife slips by accident) and stick the knife in the middle of 2 grooves, then kind of slowly work my way around the squash. They can be kind of hard to cut, so take your time and be careful! Scrape out the seeds with a spoon, and save the seeds if you want to roast them to use for salads, snacking, or a garnish for soup. (i.e. butternut squash soup I’m making this weekend)
On a microwave safe plate or dish lay the squash cut side down. (I had to do 2 halves at a time) Put in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. Test the squash. Does it give a little when you push on the skin? When the squash is done, it’s a bit soft and has gone a little more clear looking. For me, it took about 7-9 minutes in the microwave. Carefully turn over, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with the other 2 halves.
To prepare the filling:
- Cut up the sausage. I cut it lengthwise in half, then cut those halves lengthwise in half, then chopped into about half inch pieces.
- Put the sausage into a large pan on medium high heat with the onion.
- Brown the sausage and onion together for a few minutes, then add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Turn the heat down to medium.
- Add in the spinach leaves, then put the tomato sauce and cooked rice on top. Let the spinach wilt down. I let the spinach wilt down a bit before I try stirring or else I’ll end up with spinach leaves everywhere on my stove! The sauce and rice on top acts as a little weight to speed the process along.
- Stir it up. When the spinach is wilted and the rice and sauce are heated through, time to serve.
- Take your acorn squash halves and fill with stuffing. Serve and enjoy!