Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vegetable Stuffed Acorn Squash

Happy Sunday (early!) morning! How has your weekend been? I'm sitting on my couch with my hands wrapped around a warm mug of coffee (mixed with local honey) and am SO enjoying these spare moments of peace and quiet. When I wake up early in the morning, I give myself a choice: do I close my eyes for longer or rise and face the world? I almost always choose choice 2. These moments of alone-time as the sun rises, sipping coffee and gazing out of my windows as the world comes alive wins...for me. With these minutes of calmness before my household wakes up, I approach my day (and my family) with much more zen as they eventually wander out (or whimper from crib for retrieval) to join me. Ah, I love a good Sunday morning.
Last night we attended a wedding for one of my dear co-workers and spent time with old friends and made new friends as well. A night without children (thank you in-laws!), and conversations about my old workplace began to make thoughts about returning to work feel like more of a reality. Oh, the torn thoughts and feelings involved in this decision (so many, so conflicting!)...the positive aspect of my inner work related dialogue involves an opportunity for evening work, which would allow me to mosey in for a few hours each evening as my husband returns from his workday, requiring no huge home upheaval or the intense and difficult search for appropriate and trusting childcare. So very tempting! 
Also a big week for Americans...election day is on Tuesday! I can hardly believe it's here. Oh, the anxiety that I feel about this election knows no bounds. (breathe in, breathe out)....have you done your part and voted? Or do you have plans to vote? I'm so proud when I see men and women lined up outside of the early polling locations, waiting hours to vote, practicing their right to participate actively in our democracy even when it requires line dwelling and patience. VOTE, folks!

What I really wanted to do here today is share my newest recipe with you today, the mother of all stuffed squash recipes! After some experimentation on Friday night, I can officially say that I am proud of the final product! A perfect vegetarian delicacy (very filling!) for fall. Follow the instructions below for a meal that will most definitely leave you fully satisfied and content.

Vegetable Stuffed Acorn Squash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce an acorn squash with a knife several times and heat in microwave for 3 minutes. Remove, and cut in half. Scoop the seeds and dispose or compost this part so that you're left with two halves, clean and ready for stuffing. 
Rub the flesh side with butter and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Once this step is complete, turn squash over and cook for an additional 15 minutes on their backs.

In the meantime:
In a medium sized saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. 
Add: 1/2 of a diced onion (any kind!), 1/2 of a diced bell pepper (I used yellow. Fun fact: red has the most vitamin C!), 1/2 of a diced granny smith apple and 2 carrots, chopped. Feel free to add any additional vegetables that you may have! 
Cook until vegetables are tender (10 minutes) and add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of red wine (I used shiraz), 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
Mix with 1 tablespoon of feta cheese. 
Remove squash from oven and let cool a bit for easy handling. Fill squash with vegetable and cheese mixture and top with a combination of mozzarella and feta cheeses.
Bake on 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese begins to turn golden brown. 

Serve warm and ENJOY! 

Well, I've just had the pitter patter of pajama clad feet wander over to me and join me for the beginning of a lovely Sunday, so signing off here, please enjoy the rest of your weekend to the max! Fingers crossed for the most apt and able candidate to win the presidential race! Eeeee!

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