Makes 4 servings
In the northeast, late fall at the farm market brings many enticing kinds of squash. Butternut is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash to cook with because of its nutty sweetness. Stuffed with a savory and sweet blend of rice, spinach, apples, walnuts and cranberries, this cold weather seasonal dish makes a festive, nutritious and appealing entrée for any special meal.
- 1 very large butternut squash, peeled
- 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
- 1½ cups lightly packed baby spinach
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend or Italian seasoning blend
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large casserole dish with unbleached parchment paper.
Cut 2- to 3-inches off the top of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise to make 4 sections of squash, equal in size. Scrape out the seeds from each section.
Put the rice, spinach, apple, cranberries, walnuts, all-purpose seasoning, sea salt and ground cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. Divide the stuffing mixture evenly, mounding it into the hollowed center in each of the four squash pieces, mounding it as you go (see note).
Put the squash quarters, stuffing side up, in the prepared casserole dish. Tent with foil and bake for 1 to 11⁄2 hours, or until the squash is very soft. For a crisp topping, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.
Chef’s Note: If you end up with extra stuffing, put it in a small, covered casserole and bake alongside the squash like a holiday stuffing. Makes a great side dish.
Amount per serving, based on 4 servings: 332 Calories; 6g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 9g Protein; 35mg Sodium; 70g Total Carbohydrate; 17g Sugars; 11g Fiber
Photo Credit: David Kaplan
Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet
©Laura Theodore 2015, 2020. Reprinted by permission.