MEATLESS MONDAY DELIGHT!
Several days a week we eat meatless. We've cut back our meat consumption to a minimal amount. Monday is always meatless Monday at our house as much as possible. I never feel that it's a sacrifice. The benefits far outweigh the challenge of cooking interesting food without meat.
Winter squash is now in abundance at the farmer's market. We grew butternut squash in the garden but didn't have room for acorn squash. Last Saturday we purchased nice size acorn squash for $.50 a piece at the market! I think the most common way to cook these is with a bit of butter and brown sugar and then baked in the oven. When we eat a meal without meat, I try to 'pimp' up the meal so my carnivore son doesn't complain. Today, though, he's not going to be here so I can use ingredients that we like but he would turn up his nose at.
My mother-in-law is with us for a couple of weeks so I try to make our meals a bit special, even though she has complained every day that "all we do is EAT!...or...why do you FUSS so?.." and other irritating comments.
In the Simply In Season cookbook there are several suggestions for stuffed acorn squash. I used it as a guideline and combined several of the recipes and came up with this delicious dish!!!
First, clean halved squashes, and drizzle olive oil on the inside along with salt and pepper. Place cut side down in a baking pan. I lined mine with parchment because experience tells me that the pan will be difficult to clean after the squash bakes. This is not a necessary step, but you won't be sorry you did this. Aluminum foil would also work to line your pan. Bake the squash until just tender...about 40 minutes. Turn the squash over and leave in your baking pan.
Meanwhile, I cooked 1 cup of brown rice until nice and tender. In a saute pan I placed some olive oil, chopped carrot, chopped onion, 1/4 c. raisins, 1 small chopped green pepper, salt and pepper to taste, some oregano, and about 1/2 cup rough chopped walnuts. I then added a seasoning packet from an Oriental ramen noodle package that I had saved, along with about 1-2 Tbsp. of honey. This stuffing then goes in the squash and the whole thing is baked for an additional 15-20 minutes before serving.
I made fresh applesauce this morning and we'll have some of that as a side dish. I'm also going to heat a small wheel of Brie cheese topped with my hot pepper marmalade and serve it with wheat crackers! MMMM Sounds so yummy!!
Hope you enjoy your Monday...what did you cook???