We’re smack in the middle of this year’s Balance Detox and because it’s the third year I’ve hosted it (and the third year I’ve participated in it), I’ve been inspired to experiment with some of my favorite recipes from the program to keep things exciting.
My stuffed acorn squash recipe is always a crowd-pleaser so I thought I’d try another version in hopes that it would be equally delicious. I’d like to think I succeeded, but you’ll have to try both recipes and let me know what you think. You can find the original stuffed acorn squash recipe here.
I enjoy working with squash in the winter because it’s seasonal, hearty, and easy to prepare. To roast an acorn squash, simple cut off the top (the side with the stem), cut in half, and scrape out the seeds. In this recipe I roast the halves intact, but they are also delicious sliced into rings or cubes and added to salads.
Most acorn squashes you’ll find have a mostly green skin which is what you want. Mine was mostly orange meaning that it’s a bit overripe, but it still tasted fabulous. The rind is edible (and full of phytonutrients), but has a bit more bite than the palatable Delicata squash.
This recipe uses Italian turkey sausage, which I love cooking with because it’s pre-seasoned and makes a quick meal taste like I spent hours in the kitchen. Be sure to buy uncooked sausage and simple slit the casings with a sharp knife and squeeze out the meat. You can treat the insides like any ground meat and use it in a myriad of ways.
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- ¼ lb. diced mushrooms
- 4 mild Italian turkey sausages
- 2 cups spinach
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sprinkle acorn squash halves with salt and pepper and place them face down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer cooked onions to a plate and set aside.
- In the same sauté pan (adding more oil if necessary), sauté the mushrooms until just brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate with the onions and set aside.
- Turn heat to high, remove the turkey sausage from its casings and cook until brown. Add onion and mushrooms back to the pan along with 1 cup of filtered water and 2 cups of spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the water is just evaporated. Mix in parsley and pine nuts.
- Spoon the turkey mixture into roasted acorn squash halves and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes to brown the tops. Serve hot.