Hearty Spiced Acorn Squash Bowls
Do you ever have one of those nights, where you are enjoying a glass of wine with your significant other so much that it goes from a glass, to a bottle, to tequila? That was what last night was for Z and I. It was fabulous having a chance to relax and catch up, but we both woke up this morning not feeling quite ourselves. Yup, it was one of “those days”.
For dinner I wanted something hearty and “rib sticking”, but also healthful. My mind immediately went to stuffed squash. I have successfully stuffed a squash before, with chicken sausage and apples, but tonight I had a pound of ground turkey and some other bits and pieces. Friday night is normally our shopping night, so we are pretty much out of everything! With a little creativity (gasp!) I created what turned out to be a very satisfying meal.
Spiced Acorn Squash Bowls
Make one serving of rice, and set aside.
Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and either bake in an oven at 400* for about 45 minutes or cover and microwave for about 15 minutes. Either way, you need some cooked squash goodness!
In a pan, fry up an onion and some garlic in a little olive oil. While they are cooking, chop up a red pepper (or whatever color you want!) and add it to the mix. Let the vegetables soften.
To this mix, add 1 lb of ground turkey (or pork, or beef!) and cook until there is no pink left.
Scoop out the insides of the squash halves and add to the turkey pepper mixture. Be sure to leave a layer around the inside to hold up the skin, as you will be using them as bowls!
Now season the turkey squash mixture with salt, pepper, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Season to taste — I ended up adding a TON of cumin. At the very end, throw in a couple handfuls of raisins, and if you want, sliced almonds (I didn’t have any, but think they would go great with this dish!)
Now for the fun part — spoon a little of the rice into the bottom of the squash bowl.
Then scoop the turkey squash mixture of the the top to fill the bowl. I served it with a plain lettuce salad, to cool the spices down and so it wouldn’t compete with all the great flavors!
This was another winner! (Yay!) The spices worked really well together, and the rice plus the squash made a very warm and filling meal. Great for soaking up some of last nights fun :) It’s also a great meal because you can play around with it so much — adjusting the spices, and you don’t need to have the rice, or just eating the filling by itself. But I loved it, just the way it is.
[Meal costs: Acorn squash: $2.60, 1 serving rice: $.50, 1 onion: $.37, Ground turkey: $2.99, Red pepper: $.87, spices and raisins: stocked in pantry! Total cost: $7.33 for 2 people]