Baked Acorn Squash Bowls

Baked Acorn Squash Bowls | Making Thyme for Health #glutenfree #vegetarian

You know how there are some meals that you have when you’re out to eat that leave a lasting impression on you?

Like the ones that instantly warm you from the inside out? Or that leave you thinking about them a year later?

Yeaaah. For me, this is that meal.

Baked Acorn Squash Bowls | Making Thyme for Health #glutenfree #vegetarian

Thinking back to the first time I had it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Brandon and I were only a few months into our engagement and we had just started planning the wedding. We spent that day drinking wine at a local vineyard, enjoying the cool crisp weather and the turning leaves. Then afterwards we went out to dinner and it was just warm enough to sit outside next to the romantic fire lamps on the patio. I remember taking a bite of stuffed acorn squash and feeling like it reached out and wrapped it’s arms around me. It was that good.

Okay so the memory might be leeetle nostalgic because of how happy I was to finally be engaged to the love of my life, but I also think that part of the reason it left such a lasting impression on me was because, prior to that, I didn’t really eat acorn squash. I tried roasting it once before with a little butter and brown sugar but beyond that, cooking with it always intimidated me. I think it’s the shape or something.

Anyways, it’s just as easy {or hard} as any other squash out there so if you feel like I did, don’t! There’s no need to be shy. To make them into bowls you simply slice off the bottom so that there’s an even surface for it to stand up straight.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Then slice off the top so that you can see the seeds and stuff.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

If your first slice wasn’t low enough to see the seeds, you can also cut a circle out of the center and then pull them out.

Once you’ve cleaned out the seeds and any loose strands of squash, your bowl is ready for roasting!

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Pop that baby in the oven while you start working on the filling. For this recipe I used a combination of shiitake mushrooms, green beans and carrots. I also threw some leftover beet greens into the mix but feel free to substitute whatever you prefer.

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After sauteing the veggies with a little seasoning, add them to the creamy barley that’s been cooked in vegetable broth. Mmm….

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Side note: If at all possible, I highly recommend using barley. The texture works really well in this recipe. But if you must- for gluten-free purposes- you can substitute quinoa. I’m sure it will still be delicious.

Okay, now comes the fun part! Squeal with glee as you fill up the little bowls!

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Sprinkle them with a little cheese, pop them back in the oven until it’s warm and bubbly and then sit down to savor the perfect fall meal.

Bon appetit!

Baked Acorn Squash Bowls | Making Thyme for Health #glutenfree #vegetarian

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

2 medium-size acorn squash*

1 cup dry pearled barley, rinsed (sub quinoa for gluten-free version)

3 cups vegetable broth

1 shallot, minced

8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used shiitake)

10 ounces green beans, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup chopped leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, etc. I used beet greens)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup parmesan cheese for topping (omit or sub vegan cheese for vegan version)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and then grease the bottom of a baking dish.
  2. After you wash the squash, slice off a small piece of the pointy bottom so that it’s able to sit on an even surface. Next slice off the top so that it’s low enough to see where the seeds start. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and any loose strands of squash.
  3. Once they are all cleaned out, lightly rub the flesh with oil and then transfer to the baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an 1 hour. The inside should be soft when you poke it with a fork.
  4. Meanwhile bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium size pot and then add the barley. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until tender.
  5. Next you can start cooking the vegetables by warming the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Then add the greens, mushrooms, carrots and green beans. Sprinkle them with salt and garlic powder then cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes. The vegetables should be slightly tender at this point. If you prefer them softer then you can cook them a little longer.
  6. Once the barley is cooked, add it to the pot with the vegetables and stir to combine. Taste test to see if it needs more salt & pepper then spoon it inside of the cooked squash. Sprinkle the tops with cheese then turn the oven to broil. Place the squash back in the oven until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

*filling makes enough for 3 squash- I ate it on it's own for lunch the next day but you can use it for more squash if you prefer

http://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/baked-stuffed-acorn-squash/