Friday, November 15, 2013

Acorn Squash with Apple-Spinach Stuffing

TGIF!!! Well it's Friday night... normally I would go out with Amy or friends and try a new restaurant, but I have been resting and eating healthy/clean this week since I have a half marathon (13.1 miles) to run on Sunday. So instead of going out and trying a new indulgent dish from a restaurant, I am staying in and trying a new healthy recipe from my kitchen! 

It's been a blustery, cold fall day so a warm, comfort-food, type dinner sounded good. I happened to have an acorn squash on-hand... that's right, they are not just for decoration! So what do you do with an acorn squash you ask? Well, if you are me... then you bake it and stuff it full of healthy ingredients! 


The end result is a warm, one-dish, hearty, delicious and nutritious dinner. I love the combination of fall flavors; the acorn squash with the apple, spinach, celery, and raisins is amazing!! The bread crumb and nut mixture is so crunchy, it adds a lot of texture to the dish. And do I even need to talk about the cheese on top!?! Cheese makes everything better, right?! 


This Acorn Squash dish is warm, comforting, and hearty. It is great as a main course (you could even add turkey, ham, chicken, sausage to the stuffing mix?) or as a side dish! Yum...

Acorn Squash with Apple-Spinach Stuffing
based on a recipe from www.tasteofhome.com

Ingredients:
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons pecans (I used pine nuts), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat

Directions:
Microwave the squash for a few minutes (about 4) in order to cut it safely. Cut squash in half; discard seeds. 


Place squash, cut side down, in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Fill pan with hot water to a depth of 1/2 in. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute celery, apple, raisins and onions in oil until tender. Add the spinach and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook and stir until spinach is wilted.


In a bowl, combine the panko crumbs, pecans and remaining salt. 

Remove baking pan from oven, drain water. Turn squash cut side up. Stuff with spinach mixture; sprinkle crumb mixture over top. Dot with butter. Top with shredded cheese. 



Bake 15 minutes longer or until the squash is tender and cheese is melted. 



Yield: 4 servings

I really enjoyed everything about this Acorn Squash dish... the flavors, textures, and the fact that it's healthy, filling and satisfying too. I will definitely be trying the recipe again! I think next time I will add turkey kielbasa sausage...

Have a great weekend... Enjoy!

*Janel*

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