EASY SOUTHWESTERN ACORN SQUASH

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A hearty-meatless fall dinner of acorn squash stuffed with spicy beans and corn and bulgur or quinoa and topped with chunky salsa.

Serves 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1-1/2 cups of Easy Spicy Veggie Chili (see earlier posted recipe)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup steamed bulgur or quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 1/4 cup grated non-dairy cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

I’m always thrilled to see autumn squash (a.k.a. winter squash) in the farmer’s market or grocery store. And they really are easy to fix once you have the trick. I used to avoid them because I was just plain not strong enough to slice them in two, no matter how large or sharp my knife. Even when I used my “Mrs. Lovett” style butcher knife!

5136062366_e356fa342a_zBut here’s the tip. Take your acorn squash and pierce it a few times with a fork, place it in the microwave and set it for about two minutes on high. That’s it. Now when you take it out, the skin will be soft enough to slice right through the meat, with no problem. Slice the squash in half from end to end, scoop out and discard the seeds.

Now, simply place the squash on a baking sheet (I cover mine with foil for easy clean up), and bake for about 40 minutes. The squash is done when you can insert a sharp knife into the flesh and it’s nice and soft.

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While the squash is baking, cook up a batch of bulgur or steam some quinoa in your rice cooker. (Make enough to use down the road; it freezes very well. Then take about 2 cups of some premade Easy Spicy Veggie Chili (recipe posted earlier), place it in a medium sauce pan and add ½ cup of frozen yellow corn. Warm it on the stove or put it in a glass bowl and warm it in the microwave for a few minutes until nice and hot. Next, simply toss in about a cup and a half of your of freshly steamed bulgur or quinoa.

When the squash is tender, take two big scoops of the filling (about a cup and a half for each acorn half)  and fill each squash half and then top it with some chunky salsa. If you want, you can sprinkle with some shredded non-dairy cheese and pop under the broiler for a couple of minutes. But I found it very satisfying with no additional cheese, it’s your preference. On the next day, I ate the second one for my lunch (simply warmed it in the microwave) and I did sprinkle on some nutrition yeast, then added some salsa and that tasted great too.

Serve immediately.

Cheers, Karen

Note: Once you mix your chili mixture and quinoa or bulgur, you’re probably going to have some left over that you can put into a freezer container for another day. It will be so handy when on one of those days you just don’t have time to cook!

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