Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Now back to regularly scheduled easy main dishes...
Cheesy. Vegetarian. Fairly quick. Informal. Yes, these are baked, but the filling is made on the range during squash cooking time, so the final product is complete in under an hour. I like these because I can bake up only one half of the squash and save the other for another day. The 'doubled' recipe is printed below.

Serves 2
55 minutes
preheat oven to 400 F
-medium saucepan
-glass or aluminum baking dish (like a cookie sheet, 9 x 13 " pan, or large pie dish)

1 large acorn squash
1 medium white or yellow onion
1 medium head of broccoli
2-3 celery stalks
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese (or use Galaxy Nutritional Foods lactose-free cheddar rice shreds.. they melt incredibly well!!)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Again, my squash was a little undercooked at 375 F, but I think my oven runs cold, so the time here may vary.
2. With a sharp knife, cut the acorn squash in half, either length-wise, or width-wise (width wise shown in picture). Length-wise should sit better as a 'bowl' but the stem might be harder to cut through. Once halved, scrape out the seeds and gooey strings from the middle of the squash. Discard innards (or save seeds to roast, if you wish). You should be left with a firm, 'hollow' squash.
3. Fill baking dish with some water-- around 1/2 inch deep. Place both squash halves into water, hollow-side down. Bake squash in preheated oven for 45 minutes; cook 15 minutes longer if you desire a very tender squash. Squash is done when a knife inserted easily pierces the outside skin. Watch water level inside your baking dish-- add more if all the water evaporates.
4. While squash is cooking, begin cutting up veggies. Chop onion into small-ish pieces (not diced). Cut broccoli up into bite-sized sections. Wash celery well and cut into thin slices. Place washed/cut veggies besides range and wait until 15 minutes remains for the squash.
5. Once the squash has cooked for 30 minutes, place veggies into medium saucepan with the olive oil and saute over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Cook until the onion is barely translucent and the broccoli is crisp-tender.
6. Remove hot veggies from the heat and immediately stir in the cheddar cheese. Mix well until melted.
7. Pull cooked squash out of the oven and generously spoon veggie/cheese filling into hollow compartments. Serve right away, but be careful... the squash is hot.

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