The first snow of the season.
While many hang their heads wishing, praying for fall to hang on just a wee bit longer, I’m the girl doing cartwheels and giving myself an internal high five as the thought of white covered everything and whipping down the mountain fill me with a sense of excitement that only happens this time of year.
I know I say that every time of year is my favorite in Park City and right now is no different. It’s more than just the promise of snowboarding season. Thanksgiving and the end of year holidays are just around the corner and for me that means family and friends visiting and cooking for clients I haven’t seen all summer. I’m happy to say goodbye to fresh tomatoes and flip flops and hello to root vegetables, winter squash and my beanie collection. I’m prepared to pack on the extra few pounds I gain every winter (and lose every summer) because it means that I’m eating well, trying to stay warm and sitting by the fire with an evening toddy.
Blame it on the cooler weather or watching lots of football but I find my craving different foods this time of year. I want heartier, homey meals. I want warm spices and foods that comfort me. My slow cooker gets dusted off while the grill becomes an afterthought. I want braised meats, roasted vegetables, chili’s, soups, stews……I want squash. Lots and lots of squash. I adore the sweet, meaty texture. Pureed in soups, roasted on it’s own or stuffed with the flavors of fall, there isn’t anything I don’t love about the hearty vegetable.
The best of both worlds, this stuffed squash is a new favorite vegetarian dish. I first oven roasted the squash, flesh side down, so it got nice and caramelized. I then brushed it with just a smidge of melted butter, brown sugar and garam marsala, an Indian spice blend found at specialty stores. While the squash cooked, I prepared a simple stove top filling with kale, celery, onion, whole wheat couscous, garbanzo beans, raisins and pine nuts. Both sweet and savory, it’s just as delicious hot as it is cold. (I know because I had the leftovers for lunch the next day!) Perfect for this time of year, it’s all I want in a fall dish!
Here’s to staying warm and hopefully what will be a HUGE winter!
Here are some other stuffed squash recipes you might enjoy:
Beef and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash, Gluten Free Goddess
Kale and Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash, Mountain Mama Cooks
Stuffed Acorn Squash, Aggie’s Kitchen
Red Pepper and Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash, The Garden of Eating
This vegetarian stuffed squash is both sweet and savory. It's warm flavors are perfect for fall!
- 2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 celery stalks, cleaned and diced
- 2 green onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup packed minced kale
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 1- 14 oz can chicken broth
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
- On a small cookie lined with foil, place squash halves, cut side down. Roast in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
- While squash bakes, prepare filling. In a medium size saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add diced celery, diced green onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until celery is softened. Add kale and saute another 10 minutes. Add garam masala and stir to incorporate into vegetables. Add raisins, garbanzo beans, couscous and chicken broth. Bring stock to a simmer and then cover pan, turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and season with salt.
- In a small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon garam masala, and salt. Brush onto squash halves when they come out of the oven. Stuff each squash half evenly with couscous mixture. Serve immediately.