I don’t always have a plan for dinner. It is about 50/50. But for me, that is OK – because how can I call myself The Leftover Queen if I’m not quick on the draw in the kitchen?! For me, some of my most creative, exciting and delicious adventures in the kitchen are the result of not having a plan. In these cases, sometime in the afternoon, or when dinner time rolls around, I look around in the veggie bowl, the fridge and the pantry, and let all the items therein swirl around in my mind until the perfect pairing of flavors – or an interesting combination comes to the forefront. Then I roll with it. These meals are the ones I tend to get the most compliments on from the spousal unit.
A plan started to form. Stuffed acorn squash sounded perfect. All I needed to do was scrounge around in the veggie bin and fridge to see what I could add to give it something – a spark, VT cheddar, red bell pepper, red onion and homemade yogurt filled the space. I threw the squash halves in a roasting pan while I did my daily exercise and after, I stuffed the squash with my stuffing, threw it in the oven and took a shower, while it was cooking. Having healthy, whole and nourishing food doesn’t require slaving in the kitchen and can easily be accommodated into a busy schedule!
This dish was super easy, very filling and so satisfying in the flavor department. Plus it was really good for us. I can’t ask for more than that. Having a pantry and fridge full of staple items that you love, make dinner making easy, even in a pinch, if you allow yourself just to have fun, and be creative.
Acorn Squash w/ Gluten Free Sausage Stuffing
1 medium acorn squash
2 links of chicken sausage
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
¼ cup pre-soaked red quinoa
¼ cup pre-soaked buckwheat
(why do I soak? Check it out here )
handful of sharp VT cheddar cheese cubes (or any cheese you have on hand – but something sharp!)
¼ cup of homemade plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
Roast ( @350 F) acorn squash halves (cut side down) in a small roasting pan, with a splash of water.
While the squash is roasting – make the stuffing. Remove casings from sausage and brown in a skillet with olive oil, red pepper, red onion and garlic. Once sausage is browned on the outside, and veggies are getting soft, place in a bowl. Add the quinoa, buckwheat and yogurt. Once the squash is finished scoop out most of the flesh – making sure to keep the structure of the squash intact. Raise oven temp to 400 F. Mix flesh with the other stuffing ingredients and fold in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff the squash halves with the mixture and cook at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve immediately.