I never claim that I’m an amazing cook, however when I cook something that actually ends up really good, you know I’ll share about it!
- Acorn Squash
- Pecans (Or any nuts like almonds would work well)
- Vegan Butter
- Quinoa and/or rice
Steps | Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Cut acorn squash in half. Most recipes say cut from stem to tip, but I failed to read that part so I cut it horizontally. It worked just as well, and gave it a flower/clover shape.
- Remove seeds and guts with a spoon (or those pumpkin scrapers from craving on Halloween work great)
- Put halves cut side up in a baking pan. Pour about a half inch of water into the pan to keep the squash from drying out.
- Take a knife and score the insides in a cross-hatch pattern with ~half inch cuts. (I know, I should have taken a picture at each step, but it doesn’t have to look perfect, and it doesn’t have to be precise)
- Rub the inside with vegan butter or margarine (I used Earth Balance, but any other brand would work just as well). Again, it doesn’t have to be precise, just try to evenly coat the inside and top (not the peel, just the orange bits).
- Bake for an hour to an hour 15, until the halves are a nice brown color. Trust me, leave it in for at the very least an hour. If you get impatient and decide it looks brown enough, it will not be tender enough and not be very good. Also you might hear a whistling noise if you decide to check on the squash, but don’t worry, this is perfectly normal and it doesn’t mean it will blow up.
- While your squash is cooking, you can make your filling.
Steps | Filling
- Prepare the grain you decide to use for the filling. I went with a microwave quinoa rice blend because I didn’t want to run out of time plus I’m terrible at keeping an eye on rice and quinoa.
- Cut up apple and grapes. I went for a Johnagold apple, only because it is my favorite, but honey crisp or any other red apple really would work well. I left the peel on my apple and cut it up in small spoon-size slices and sliced my grapes up in thirds.
- Toast pecans by putting a pan on medium heat with a couple spoonfuls of vegan butter and throw in a few handfuls of pecans. Sorry I’m not much for measuring, but you can always test out a couple to see what works best for you. Stir occasionally for around 5 minutes and take off heat.
- In a pot, combine quinoa/rice, apple slices, grape slices, and toasted pecans and put on low heat to keep the filling warm while waiting for the squash to cook. If you notice the mixture sticking to the sides of your pan, you can add a bit of vegan butter or oil and stir occasionally.
Steps | Finishing touches
- Remove acorn squash when finished and scoop the filling into the halves. Save the rest of the filling for later (it makes a great leftover side dish).