I think I'd be missing the blogging boat if I didn't post a stuffed squash recipe this Autumn! This recipe veers away from the usual wild rice or quinoa mixed with nuts, cranberries, apples, and herbs. Not that those combinations aren't perfectly comforting and festive this time of year....but I was thinking of something a little spicier.
I was snuggling my 5 year old daughter after school yesterday and at the same time was trying to think of something for dinner. We are in desperate need of a large grocery shopping trip but before I embark on one of those adventures I like to use up whatever ingredients might be lurking around our pantry and refrigerator. I had a cooked chicken breast in the fridge from a whole chicken I cooked into soup the other day and a pot of brown rice on the counter. The peppers I purchased at last Saturday's market and the kale was from our garden.
I like to use Bionaturae Strained Tomatoes any time I would generally use tomato sauce. This is because it comes in glass and not a can. Canned tomatoes are still lined with plastic and can leach potentially dangerous chemicals, such as BPA, into the tomato product. Though it is still debatable how much of these chemicals are actually present.
Chipotle Chicken & Rice Stuffed Squash
If you're vegan you could enjoy this recipe using black beans in place of the cooked chicken. I am sure there are countless variations of vegetables, grains, and beans you could use here. I think a corn, cooked quinoa, black bean combo would be quite delicious! If you happen to eat cheese, I would consider topping each stuffed, halved squash with shredded raw, organic jack cheese! If you have extra filling, heat it in a small covered pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then use to fill warmed corn or rice tortillas. Serve stuffed squash with a mixed green and arugula salad with a lime vinaigrette and sliced avocados.
3 to 4 medium acorn squash
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked shredded or chopped chicken
1 to 2 sweet red peppers
1 cup finely chopped kale
1 1/2 cups strained tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 medium shallots, peeled
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or agave nectar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use more for more spice!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut all of the squash in half then scoop out the seeds. Place the squash flesh-side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add a small amount of water to the pan. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until tender but not cooked all the way.
Mix the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl.
Place all of the ingredients for the sauce into a blender and blend on high for about 60 seconds or until smooth. Pour sauce into the bowl with the filling. Toss together.
Use a spatula to lift up and remove the the squash halves from the baking sheet. Place them tucked closely next to each other in a large baking dish such as a 9 x 13-inch pan. You may need to use two pans depending on how large the squash are. Scoop the filling into each squash half. I try to stuff in as much as I can. Drizzle all of them with olive oil. Place back into the oven and bake uncovered for about 40 to 45 more minutes. If you are using cheese, then sprinkle some on top during the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking. Serve with a squeeze of lime. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com
Stuffed Squash ready to go in the oven.
More Autumn Main Dish Ideas:
Fish Curry (you could use cubed squash and kale in place of some of the summer veggies)