Sunday, November 15, 2009
Stuffed Acorn Squash and Roasted Asparagus
This was a delicious fall-evening meal. I hadn't been planning on making stuffed squash but the store had them on sale for 99 cents and they're just so cute. First I set some grains to cooking. I used a harvest mix from Trader Joe's that had Israeli couscous, red quinoa, orzo, and baby garbanzo beans. To fill both halves of the squash it'll take about 1 cup of cooked grains. I also cooked up some mushrooms, spinach and red bell pepper. When the grains were cooked I added them to the veggies, then threw in some cranberries and sliced almonds. I scooped this mixture into the cut, cleaned squash. The squash halves were then set in a baking dish, covered with foil and baked at 400 degrees until soft (depending on the size of your squash this could take anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour).
Cutting the squash in half presented a challenge all its own. I have really cheap knives (IKEA), and so it took me a good amount of cursing and slamming of the squash for me to get it open. Be warned, they're tough little guys when they're raw. I scooped out all the seeds, cleaned them, sprinkled with salt and then cooked them along with the squash, removing after about 20 minutes. I then dumped a few of these on the cooked squash, and ate the rest--yummy.
For the asparagus, we just trimmed the ends, set on a baking sheet, and drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. They need a good mix around with your hands to coat and then they're ready to roast. I waited until the squash had been in for a little over 20 minutes then set the asparagus in there too (same time I took out the squash seeds). The asparagus comes out flavorful and crispy; roasted asparagus is just so wonderful!
This was a super-filling dinner. We didn't even come close to finishing our squashes. I wrapped up the uneaten portions and put them in the fridge, they might become soup sometime later this week.