Welcome Home Stuffed Acorn Squash

Well, we made it home safely from France last week! It was a trip filled with exhilarating, challenging, beautiful, disgusting, amazing, refreshing, delicious, exhausting events. Even now, a week later, it is difficult to really comprehend our adventure. If you missed it, all my France posts are now listed on the new Travels page, which you can access using the tab at the top of this page. 

I missed cooking. I was actually surprised at how much I missed my kitchen. So, the first meal I made when we returned home was a simple wrap.

Just some tomatoes, black beans, green peppers, avocado, lettuce, and tomatillo salsa. Simply delicious.

One thing I loved about French cooking was its simplicity. That's exactly what this meal embodied. It was ready in less than 20 minutes. Perfect for my jet lagged body.

And then it was cold outside. 

We had gotten used to the Miami-like weather of Nice, and it was a harsh reality coming home to the chilly autumn temperatures. While I am not a big fan of autumn, I am a big fan of autumn foods. I love slow roasting fall veggies - especially squash. So, I picked up a couple acorn squash at the market and pondered what to do with them.

I didn't have to ponder long before I decided I wanted to make a comfort stew inside the squash. I love stew in a pumpkin. Yet, this time I wanted something a little simpler. As an added bonus, this recipe is vegan. And the nutritional profile isn't bad either! Besides being high in potassium and low in fat, it's extremely high in Vitamins A and C.

This stew can simmer all day long if you wanted. The longer you let it simmer, the better. The times listed below are the minimum cooking times. Feel free to turn down the heat a little bit and cook it slowly. The flavors will open up and be even more fantastic.

I just used the veggies I had on hand: you should do the same. Pick ones that you love! And, the stew makes more than what can be stuffed inside the squash. It makes for great leftovers, or mix it with the squash from the lids!

Welcome Home Stuffed Acorn Squash
4 servings, 2 hours

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 beet
1 sweet potato
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen/fresh corn
1/2 cup black beans (cooked)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 acorn squash (or your favorite squash)
  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Dice the onions and garlic and add to the pan when hot. Cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant and softened. 
  2. Peel and dice the beet and sweet potato. Add to the saucepan and stir well to cover with oil. Let cook a couple of minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and fresh herbs. Let cook until beet is tender, adding water in 1/2 cup increments as needed. Depending on the size of your diced beet, this takes about 20 minutes. Add water to prevent sticking and to facilitate the cooking, but not too much.
  3. Add the corn, beans, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. Either refrigerate for up to 2 days before stuffing the squash or proceed to next step.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Wash the squash. Cut a thin sliver off the bottoms so they stand straight. Cut the top 1/3 off, being careful to preserve the tops and bottoms of the squash. Both will be used in the cooking. Scoop out the seeds. Rub the remaining oil all over the outsides and insides of the squash. Set on a baking pan lined with tin foil/parchment.
  6. Scoop stew into each of the squash, filling them as full as you can. Place the tops on each squash. If they have a long stem, cover it in tin foil to prevent burning.
  7. Bake for 60-90 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Let cool about 10 minutes before eating. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Makes great leftovers!
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