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Italian Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Makes 4 servings

This festive favorite is surprisingly simple to pull together.  Acorn squash is easy  to prepare, just hard to cut, so enlist a hand if you need to!

The combination of olives, sundried tomatoes and oregano creates a savory stuffing reminiscent of the best Italian cuisine, while the lentil and grain combination adds the pleasing texture to this delicious vegetarian stuffing.  Serve Italian Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash as a meat-free main dish friends and family will love.

Ingredients

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved, pulp and seeds removed
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • ¼ cup quinoa or millet
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry sundried tomatoes, chopped (a blender or food processor is perfect for this)
  • ¼ cup whole grain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. powdered garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 385.  Place squash halves, cut side down on a glass or metal baking sheet (glass is easier to clean), and place in the oven.

Cook for 35-40 minutes until squash is soft, then remove from the oven.  This step can be done ahead or while you’re preparing your stuffing.

Give your lentils a quick rinse to remove any debris.  Add 8 cups of water to a large saucepan and pour in the lentils and quinoa.  The water should cover the lentils by at least 4”.

Bring the water to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes before adding the onion, celery and sundried tomatoes.

Return the lentil mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes longer, until the lentils are tender.

Remove from the heat, drain and pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

Turn the squash halves over to cut side up, and fill with stuffing mixture.  Place back into the oven 385 degree oven and cook for 10-15 minutes longer until the stuffing begins to brown.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

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