By Fern Morales

 

While it may not feel like winter in San Diego, the chilly evenings may inspire some to warm their tummies with something hearty and uncomplicated. The creamy texture of roasted squash blended with the earthy flavors of mushrooms, spinach, and a dry cheese are sure to enkindle and comfort anyone. Plus, the acorn squash (like most gourds) is packed with antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C, which keep your skin luminous, your body cold and flu-free, and your belly balanced and happy!

Stuffed Acorn Squash (Serves 4-6)

Quick note: Several ingredients can be replaced to meet any and every diet, so use what works best for you!

Ingredients:

Squash

  • 3 smaller acorn squash (1.5lbs)
  • 1 tbsp olive/coconut oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
  • Salt and pepper

Stuffing

  • One medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3-10 (more is better) cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or protein of choice)
  • 3 cups spinach, packed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • ¾ cup any hard cheese; parmesan (my favorite), gouda, cheddar, romano.
  • Hard cheese gives the mixture a nice nutty flavor that rounds out the earthy mushrooms and squash.

         

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Cut each squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place squash halves cut-side-up on a baking sheet, brush with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing by placing a skillet on low/medium heat. Add oil to coat the pan. Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent. Stirring occasionally.
  5. Add ground turkey, and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to break apart bigger pieces.
  6. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese), and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add most of the cheese (save some for the tops).
  8. Stuff cooked squash with turkey mixture, dividing it evenly.  Top with remaining cheese and place in the oven for another 25 minutes, or until tops are a golden brown color.
  9. Serve and enjoy : )