Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Even though Halloween is over and all the stores are decorated for the holidays, I'm in the weird limbo of holidays. I only found my Halloween decorations about a week before the 31st so I'm not ready to put them away but it's far too early to hang up Christmas lights. And it would be so sad to go back to my plain apartment so I bought some squash to fill the gap.

But then I ate the squash so I guess I should get more. The season of pumpkin is still relevant but I feel a shift in my cooking towards other gourds. Last year, I replicated my mom's sweet squash recipe with an oatmeal and brown sugar filling. This year, I decided to mix it up with some ground turkey instead.

After the spicy stew last week, the squash was a sweet switch. I only used a tiny bit of brown sugar, relying on cinnamon and cumin for most of the flavor. As with the sweet stuffed squash, the acorn squash is cut at the top and gutted. I'm sure you could roast these seeds but I'm not a big fan of seed eating. I also cut a small piece off the bottom so the squash would sit flat while eating.

The squash is brushed with vegetable oil and roasted in the oven. Meanwhile, I browned the turkey with some onion and garlic. The cumin and cinnamon are added next to really get the flavors going. I added the brown sugar last but only a tablespoon. Lastly, walnuts are added for extra crunch. Once everything is cooked and fragrant, the squash should be good to go!

I had leftover turkey once I had stuffed the squash so just ate it plain. You could probably use 4 acorn squashes (that's a weird word) or just have some chili-type meal as leftovers!

  • 2 acorn squashes, gutted
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut a small portion off the bottom of each acorn squash so they can sit flat. Next, cut off the tops so you can see the seeds. 
  3. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and guts of the acorn squash, much like you would for a jack-o-lantern.
  4. Lightly oil the acorn squash edges and insides with olive oil. Place face down on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minute.
  5. In a medium skillet, brown the ground turkey. You may need to add some vegetable oil to the pan to keep the meat from sticking if you have a very lean beef.
  6. Once the meat is browned, add the diced onions and garlic. Cook together until fragrant.
  7. Stir in the brown sugar, cumin and cinnamon so the spices are spread throughout the pan.
  8. Lastly, add the chopped walnuts. Once the meat is cooked, reduce to a simmer to keep warm.
  9. When the acorn squash is cooked, invert them into a bowl and fill with the turkey stuffing. 
  10. You could also top this with cheese! Enjoy warm or reheated. 

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