Friday, September 16, 2011

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Here is another yummy winter squash dish, this time with acorn squash. Acorn Squash is so delicious and has a wonderful sweetness to it. It would be great baked with a little butter and brown sugar and nothing else! Tonight though, I thought some wild rice and vegetables would make a tasty stuffing. My hubby and I always chat on the phone as he drives home from work and when I told him what I was fixing, he suggested I add some chicken sausage to the filling. Great idea! It was delicious. Enjoy!

Recipe: (Serves 4 - one half squash per person)
2 small acorn squash
2/3 cup long grain wild rice
2/3 cup brown rice
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 chicken sausage links, chopped
salt & pepper

1. Carefully cut acorn squash in half length-wise and scoop out all the seeds (you can discard the seeds or roast them for a snack later). Place cut side down on a dry baking sheet and bake at 350'F for 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prepare your rice. Add wild rice, brown rice and chicken broth to a small pot over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil. Once mixture boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
3. In a large saucepan add olive oil, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper and celery (mushrooms would be tasty here too) and saute over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until veggies begin to soften. Add chicken sausage and let brown.
*I used chicken sausage that is already full cooked so I just needed to heat it through and brown it. If you're using raw sausage be sure to cook it thoroughly!
4. Once the veggie and sausage mixture is heated through and the rice is cooked, combine the two in a large bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the acorn squash from the oven and, using tongs, carefully turn each half over. Using a spoon stuff the rice filling mixture into each squash half, mounding it as much as possible. You may have extra filling left but this makes a tasty side dish all on it's own or can serve as seconds!
5. Once your squash halves are stuffed, place them back into the oven and bake at 350'F for 20-25 minutes until the flesh of the squash is very tender and the tops are golden. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Here is a shot of the inside (cut in half) Mmmm.

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