Winter can come in softly. Or like a bull in a china shop. Lately, we have been cycling through storms. And are bracing for another round. While downhill skiing has benefited greatly, it certainly makes the snowshoeing more challenging. And more beautiful.
When its very cold outside, I like something deeply warming and good for my body. Grounding vegetables and warming spices. And I want to warm from the inside out. As I sit in front of the fire. 🙂
A perfect food to fit the bill is Stuffed Acorn squash- with sausage, eggs, onions, turmeric, sage, butter. I tried consciously NOT to make this taste like stuffing. Which you could do if you added apples to the mix. And lose the turmeric. I hope you enjoy this recipe. And, BTW, I swear it tastes better the next day warmed in a 400 degree oven.
Sausage and Onion stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers)
2 Acorn squash, split lengthwise. (if you split across, I like to scoop out some of the cooked flesh and stir into the sausage mix.)
6 C fresh spinach, wilted then squeezed dry. Let cool before squeezing!
1 lb bulk mild Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 medium sweet onion fine chop
2 T minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 medium leaves of sage rolled and minced
4 T of butter, divided 2 T will be melted
Olive oil for sauteing
1/2 C of Japanese-style Panko breadcrumbs or crushed pretzel breading (Kroger Private selection is good and only 7 carbs per serving)
8 oz sauteed sliced mushrooms
1/2 C Shredded Parmesan + some for topping.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Putting It Together:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Split acorn squash and remove seeds forming a well.
In a small dish, melt 2 T of the butter and chopped sage and a pinch of kosher salt in the microwave. Brush over the insides of the acorn squash.
Place into heated oven on rimmed cookie pan, cut side up. Cook until tender, appx 45-50 minutes.
While the squash is baking, saute the mushrooms in a combo of 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil. Use a large pan so mushrooms aren’t crowded.
In another large saute pan or cast iron pan, add sausage and chopped onion. Add Garlic to mixture. Cook till sausage is cooked through and onions are translucent.
Add the sausage mix to the mushrooms and remove from heat.
To wilt the spinach: add 4 T of water to large saute pan heated to medium. Add the fresh spinach. This will cook down quickly so stir often. When wilted, remove to colander to cool. Then squeeze dry. More water will come out than you think. It will reduce to a ball. When adding back into the sausage/onion/mushroom mix, shred with your fingers.
When acorn squash is finished, (think fork tender), remove from oven. If you desire, scoop out some of the flesh and add to sausage/onion/mushroom mix. Be careful not to split/cut the skin.
Add two whisked eggs to the sausage/onion/mushroom mix. Add the turmeric. (Note: if you are allergic, please leave out) Add in squeezed dry spinach.
Add the 1/2 cup pretzel-breading or breadcrumbs to the mix. Add in Parmesan. Stir together until just bound. Salt and Pepper to taste. (And I like to add a healthy dash of celery salt. My FAV condiment!)
Divide the mixture between the four acorn squash. Return to 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes till completely heated through.
Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan. (and I like a bit of Pine nuts added too)
Return to oven till melted. Remove and plate.
P.S. Please let me know if you have tried this recipe and what you think!