Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner... hmmm... Stuffed Acorn Squash

We are invited to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's. She is an amazing cook... really amazing! So, what do I do? For years Thanksgiving dinner was always my favorite! I loved all the flavors, smells and tastes... the butter, the cream, the eggs, the turkey, the gravy...  oh my! But now, I really don't eat a lot of what will be served, and I don't expect her to cook any differently because of me. Thanksgiving traditions are very important in this family. 

Last year I was at my sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving. I was still new to this diet and I decided to  eat as a vegetarian. It was actually quite nice to taste all those flavors (turkey aside) that I had so recently given up. It was really a treat, and I'll probably do the same this year. After all, what's really important here is being with family and sharing in the tradition of sitting down at the table with one another to eat and give thanks for all that we have... our family, our health, the laughter and love.

So now the dilemma is what to take? Bringing a vegan side dish that will please everyone will be my challenge. I decided to look back on some of my recipes from last fall. I found my stuffed acorn squash. I'm not sure I'll make this, but it's in the running. It's really wonderful. It has all the flavors of fall and everyone would like it, so it's under consideration.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 4

2 acorn squash – approximately 1.5 lbs each

2 C. rice - I used Lundberg Wild Blend, a blend of whole grain and wild rice
4 C. water for cooking rice

2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t. fresh sage, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped (1/2 C.)
1 apple, diced, with the skin on
1/2 C. dried cranberries
2 T. chopped walnuts
1/2 t. sea salt
Pam – non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the rice according to the directions on the package. Line a sheet pan with foil and lightly spray with Pam. Cut the acorn squash in half and seed. Place squash cut side down on the sheet pan and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is nearly finished cooking, heat a non-stick saute pan over medium high heat and toast the walnuts stirring for about 3 minutes, remove and set aside. Spray the non-stick saute pan with Pam and heat the celery, garlic and sage together stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the rice, apple, cranberries, walnuts, salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide the mixture between the squash shells and warm in the oven for 10 minutes.


Andi of Longmeadow Farm said...

Well, I heard all about your artichoke appy from your sister, and now I am going to try this too!! Thanks for posting - and have a good time Thursday!

Cheryl Allen Salinas said...

This looks delicious! I'm sure they will love it! Happy Thanksgiving!