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Moroccan Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash – Dairy Free & GFCF

Posted on November 4, 2011 by Glutenfreeda

Moroccan Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash

A perfect dish for the holidays (or all of those days in between!), this quick and easy recipe is elegant and satisfying. Serve as a hearty side dish or light entree and your family will be begging you for more! For a casual weeknight meal idea, divide the cooked squash into 1/8ths and serve as a side dish. All the convenience and comfort of classic stuffed peppers, using healthy squash and with a Moroccan twist!

Moroccan Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash – Gluten Free & Dairy Free
Serves 4 

2 medium acorn squashes (approx. 2 lbs), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 lb ground chuck (95% extra lean – often labeled 95/5)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp course salt, divided
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 c brown & wild rice blend (50/50)
2 c water
1/4 c raisins or your choice of dried fruit (like apricots or currants), finely chopped
1/4 c Italian flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400° F

Place squash halves, cut side down, in a 9×13-inch glass or ceramic baking/casserole dish. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until tender — if they finish while you are cooking the filling, simply remove from oven and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 4 Qt heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add ground beef, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, until the beef has browned and is cooked through (approx. 5-7 minutes), using a spatula to break up the ground beef into small, fine pieces. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked beef to a bowl or plate but don’t drain! Reserve as much of the cooking liquid as possible!

Add the onion and cook until just tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 30 seconds – 1 min. Add remaining salt and the rice, stirring well. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15-25 minutes — consult cooking directions on rice package for exact cooking times. Take the pot off the stove and let sit, covered, for 5 min to continue steaming. Fluff the rice with a fork, add reserved beef, raisins, parsley and pine nuts, stirring well.

Take the reserved squashes and (carefully if they are hot!) scrape out the soft squash flesh with a spoon and reserve, creating a 1/4-inch thick “bowl” out of each squash half. Stir the reserved squash flesh into the rice mixture to combine. Divide the filling between the squash halves and return to the oven to bake until warmed through, 10-15 minutes.

Photo and inspiration supplied by The Bitten Word

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