As I was sitting on the plane heading to Florida a few weeks ago I was reading this month’s issue of Martha Stewart Living. I came across a recipe for Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash and the photo really caught my attention, it looked like the perfect Fall dish. I’ve been dying to make it since I saw it in the magazine and last week I had the perfect opportunity
Here’s what you’ll need:
• 2 medium acorn squashes, halved and seeded (I picked these up at a local farm on the drive back from my parent’s house on day last week… definitely veered off the rode like a maniac when I saw the sign for squash… eek!)
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3/4 pound ground chuck (95% lean)
• pinch of cinnamon
• pinch of nutmeg
• 2 teaspoons coarse salt
• 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 3/4 cup bulgur wheat (found in the bulk section of the grocery store. I purchased it at Whole Foods)
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 cup golden raisins
• 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (I didn’t include these since I’m allergic…BOOO to you, allergies)
Here’s what you do:
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squashes cut side dow in a (roughly) 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
• Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot (I used a skillet since I still need to purchase a decent sized pot), but use something that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the ground beef, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, while stirring frequently, until brown and cooked through roughly 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl, making sure to keep as much cooking liquid in the pot (or pan) as you can.
• In the same pot or pan, add the onion and cook until somewhat translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
• Add remaining teaspoon of salt and add the bulgur, stir. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes, covered. You’ll start to see everything coming together, and the bulgur will start to absorb the liquids. Fluff the mixture with a fork and add the beef mixture, the raisins, and pine nuts if you’re using them.
• Scrape out the flesh of the baked squashes so you begin to form bowls, and fold the flesh into the bulgur mixture.
• Once everything is nicely combined, stuff the squash with the bulgur mixture and bake until warmed through and the tops are nice and browned, about 12-14 minutes.
I felt the dish needed a side so I roasted some zucchini and onions and tossed them with thyme and olive oil!
We also enjoyed the dinner with the Ku De Ta Sauvignon Blanc that Kate got me for my birthday… which was faaaantastic! I will be purchasing another bottle asap.
I think my favorite part about making this was how much I learned. I never cooked with bulgur wheat and for some very strange reason I thought I might be allergic to it… and still ate it anyway cause I like to take risks But turns out I’m not allergic and it is fantastic and completely satisfying! I’m really excited to try experimenting some more with it (any good suggestions for recipes?). Also, cutting the acorn squashes in half was quite the feat! I used my sharpest of sharp knives and managed to cut through it. I think I’m building some decent muscle from yoga I also looooved using the golden raisins! It added the perfect hint of sweet and also created some lovely texture. I think this recipe might seem far more complicated than it really is, but I promise it’s not. I was once told by my 8th grade English teacher that I had “the attention span of a small tropical fruit”, so if I can do it, then you sure as heck can, too!
Another great part? This was featured in the “Healthy Living, Fit to Eat” section of Living, so I have the nutritional info, for those who are interested!
Per Serving – which I’m going to go ahead and assume is 1, since the entire recipe serves 4
350 calories, 2 g saturated fat
6 g unsaturated fat, 44 mg cholesterol
29 g carbohydrate, 614 mg sodium
23 g protein, 9 g fiber
Delicious and healthy… I’ll take it