This lovely, sweet squash goes beautifully with the warm, spicy curry and chili powder in this recipe, and makes a wonderful side or main dish. I like to add just a touch of cheese for the bit of tang it provides.
But you may certainly leave it out if it’s an issue for you.
- Acorn Squash - 3
- cooking oil - 1 Tablespoon
- minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- finely chopped onion - 1 cup
- chopped red bell pepper - 1/2 cup
- GF vegetable stock (or Chicken stock) - 3 cups
- long grain Thai Jasmine rice (or brown rice) - 1 cup
- spinach (defrosted, drained, and packed into cup) - 1 cup
- Curry powder - 1 Tablespoon
- Ancho chili powder - 1 Tablespoon
- ground pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- sea salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- feta cheese, goat cheese, or a non-dairy cheese (optional) - 1/2 cup
- chopped walnuts (optional) - 1/4 cup
- raisins (optional) - 1/4 cup
Slice the Acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and scrape the inside of the squash clean. (I like to keep the seeds. They're nutritious and very delicious when roasted.) For a quick-cook method: Wrap each half in plastic wrap and microwave for 12 to 15 minutes. Keep wrapped until ready to use.
To prepare the rice stuffing: In a skillet saute garlic, onions, and red bell pepper in cooking oil for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer over low heat for approximately 20 - 25 minutes (stirring once or twice). The liquid should have been absorbed and the rice tender. Add the curry powder, Ancho chili powder, salt, and ground pepper and mix thoroughly. Now add the spinach and fluff the rice mixture. Just before serving, add the chopped walnuts and raisins (if desired). Sprinkle a pinch of cheese into each cooked squash. Follow that with a large scoop of curried rice and a dab of cheese on top. Serves 6
A note about the amount of curry rice - You will definitely have enough leftover rice mixture to serve for another meal OR if you wish to double the amount of acorn squash.
Green acorn squash is sweeter, while the orange is less so. I prefer to use the green.
A note about Acorn Squash: One cup of acorn squash contains 145% of the daily recommended requirements for Vitamin A. It also contains vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and folate (folic acid), as well as 15% of the omega three fatty acids necessary for good health. Acorn squash is a good source of fiber, and because it contains phytonutrients, it is believed to have an anti-cancer effect.