Southwestern Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Fall is here which can only mean one thing: it’s time for winter squash! There are lots of reasons to eat squash but acorn squash, in particular, is high in vitamin C which can help boost our immune system and decrease inflammation. It also boasts a healthy dose of potassium which contributes to normal blood pressure.

Those with a sweet tooth will love the rich taste of winter squash too! This version is vegetarian but you can easily substitute ground beef or turkey if you prefer.


1 tablespoon olive oil + more for brushing
2 medium acorn squash
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked whole grain or brown rice (optional)
1 large handful arugula or baby spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Vegan parmesan sheeze (optional), Recipe below



Heat the oven to 375º.

Place 2 acorn squash in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet face up. Brush each side lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven down to 350º.

In the meantime rinse and drain a can of garbanzo beans. Pat dry then add to food processor. Pulse a few times just until crumbly. Measure 1 cup of processed beans and save the rest for another meal.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes or until soft. Mix in the beans and tomatoes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add the rice if using. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted. Turn heat to low and cover.

When squash is cool enough, carefully scoop out the meat leaving about a 1/4-1/2 inch thick bowl. Add squash to vegetable mixture in skillet and stir to combine thoroughly.

Distribute mixture evenly between squash shells. Top with cashew sheeze if using.

Place uncovered in 350º oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with a large green salad.

Parmesan Sheeze

Add the following ingredients to a food processor and mix until a fine meal is achieved. Lasts for several weeks in the fridge.

3/4 cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Sheeze recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker.



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