Recipes for the Runner: Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Sweet, nutty, filling…what’s not to love about acorn squash? Often neglected in favor of its more high-profile seasonal compatriots [ahem, I’m looking at you, pumpkin], the acorn squash is a seasonal favorite of ours. We love its subtle flavor and seasonal feel, not to mention it’s packed full of runner-friendly vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As a good source of fiber and potassium, acorn squash is a great addition to your fall diet. You’ll also find that it’s hearty, filling, and infinitely adaptable, unlike the stronger flavor of pumpkin.

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We were excited to try this recipe because it’s full of satiating, healthy ingredients: almonds, pomegranate seeds, and meaty squash all pack a nutritious punch. We also love the versatility. Are you dairy free? No problem, swap out the yogurt for a dairy-free variety, or even coconut cream. Gluten free? Try it with rice instead of couscous. Vegetarian? We found that we didn’t even need the sausage for a satisfying meal.

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This dish is as filling as it is eye-catching, and it also only takes about an hour from start to finish, leaving you time for more important endeavors like foam rolling in front of the fireplace after your Turkey Trot, and sipping hot chocolate while the rain falls.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Recipe Courtesy of By The Teaspoon

Ingredients

Squash

2 medium sized acorn squash, halved and seeded

1 tsp honey

Kosher salt

Olive oil

Stuffing

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1 1/2 cup Israeli couscous (or any other grain; rice, kasha, quinoa, bulgar would all work great)

1 lb sausage of choice

1 tsp kosher salt

2 medium shallots

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup balsamic glaze*

2 tsp lemon zest + the juice of 2 small lemons

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup finely chopped mint leaves

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds + more for serving

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place squash, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Combine olive oil, honey, and salt; drizzle mixture evenly over the squash. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Prepare the grain according to package directions; set aside.

Combine lemon juice, zest, mint, yogurt, shallots, salt, balsamic glaze, and olive oil in a small bowl.

Cook the sausage, crumbling into small pieces. Toss together with the couscous and dressing. Gently fold in the almonds and most of the pomegranate seeds.

Place stuffing into the hot-out-of-the-oven squash. Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate seeds, drizzle some more balsamic over the top, and serve!

*For the balsamic glaze: You can reduce balsamic vinegar by cooking it in a sauté pan on the stove until thick and syrupy, which creates a delicious glaze that can be stored and used on anything everything. Or, you can pick up a pre-made balsamic glaze at some grocery stores. When we feel like cutting out the reducing step, we buy ours at Trader Joe’s.

Nutrition Facts

Approximate per serving (1/2 stuffed squash): Calories 524 Fat 19 grams Saturated Fat 4 grams Cholesterol 24 mg Sodium 500 mg Carbohydrates 74 gramsFiber 13 grams   Sugars 7 grams Protein 17 grams

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