Although the weather here has been nothing close to winter or fall, I am lovin’ the change of scene in the produce aisles and farmer’s market.
Winter squashes are fabulous. So many varieties to choose from and so much you can do with them. Acorn squash is great because it doesn’t require any peeling or cutting into squares. Just cut in half and stick it in the oven.
Squash have anti-inflammatory properties and are high in fiber making them ideal for those suffering from digestive problems.
What’s your favorite winter squash recipe?
2 medium acorn squashes (about 2 pounds), halved and seeded
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. pound grass-fed organic ground beef
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. coarse salt
½ medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ c. cooked quinoa (or rice) – optional
2 c. water or chicken broth
¼ c. golden raisins
¼ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. pine nuts
Parmesan cheese (optional)
2-3 oz. salad greens
- Prepare quinoa (or rice) by thoroughly rinsing first, then soak in 2-3 cups of water with 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar. Cover and let sit on counter overnight.
- Drain the quinoa in a strainer and rinse gently. Place drained quinoa in a medium saucepan. Add approximately 1 3/4 cups of water (or bone or veggie broth), butter, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer, covered, for 12-14 minutes. [Set timer]
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Drizzle oil or butter on squash. Place squashes, cut sides down, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Bake until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and still well.
- Add ground beef, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce to lowest heat setting.
- Remove quinoa from heat, and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Remove squash from oven. Allow to cool a little bit.
- Fluff quinoa with fork, and add to ground beef.
- Add the raisins, parsley, and pine nuts to ground beef.
- Scrape out baked squashes, forming 1/4-inch-thick bowls, and fold flesh into beef mixture.
- Divide beef and squash mixture among squash halves, sprinkle with cheese, if adding, and return to oven. Turn broiler on and broil until tops a lightly browned, 2 minutes.
- Serve squash halve with a handful of mixed greens topped with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Adapted Martha Stewart Living