That’s right, Thanksgiving Detox 2011 didn’t start until Sunday because Saturday happened, and Saturday meant celebrating the engagement of two of our friends (champagne of course), tailgating (snacks snacks snacks beer football sadface UVa), and Aqui es Mexico with a margarita (obvi).* I can’t even begin to describe how PACKED the stadium was last night. According to my dad, they sold 65,000 tickets for the 60,000-seat Scott Stadium. Although UVa didn’t pull through, we still had a great time.
Sooo add about 2,000 more calories to my calorie coma from Thursday, and you’ve got a friendly estimate of the total Turkey week damage. Thankfully, Saturday started with a 6-mile run (the entirety of which I did with an untied shoe because it was 35 degrees and I feared that if I stopped I would turn around and walk home), but I’m not sure how much that helped… my body is crying to be taken care of, damnit.
So in a desperate attempt to take care, today’s meals were filled with veggies, fruits, oats, green tea, water, water, and water, and culminated in my first attempt to cook with acorn squash. I perused the internets for ideas: Whole Foods recommended stuffing the squash with nuts, dried fruits, and smoked tofu; One Green Planet suggested quinoa, cranberries and mushrooms; and I ended up choosing a sort of amalgamation of the two. I opted for smoky, without the smoked tofu, with black beans as a protein, and some dried fruit for kicks.
Acorn squash has a unique flavor, nuttier and less sweet than butternut and spaghetti squash. These squash are also much smaller, which makes them cheaper and perfect for a 2-person dish (especially since Shaun hates having leftovers in the fridge). I REALLY enjoyed this dish; however, it did take a long time to prepare. I blame the brown rice. We served our stuffed acorn squash with fresh steamed green beans. Delish. Yay for veggies.
You’re welcome, body. Now, it’s off to play with this guy in our newly decorated home.
Stuffed Acorn Squash (Vegan, Vegetarian)
Prep Time: 1 hour to bake the squash, 25 minutes for everything else
- One acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 1 serving soy sausage, crumbled
- 1/4 cup diced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth, you choose)
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 10-12 dashes liquid smoke
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. For the Acorn Squash: Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Wipe with a little oil, salt and pepper, and bake for an hour at 400 degrees. You can do this earlier in the day and keep it in the fridge for later.
2. For the Stuffing: In a saute pan, soften the garlic and onions. Add the sage and thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the brown rice, water, raisins, and nutmeg, cook for 15 minutes (covered) or until rice begins to soften (you may need to add more water, brown rice is finicky).
4. Stir in the soy sausage and liquid smoke, cook for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Finally, add the black beans and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
6. Re-heat the squash if necessary (I put it back in the oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes), fill with the stuffing, and place the rest on the side if necessary.
* P.S.: I get to check Aqui es Mexico off of the B.L., and holy crap, outside of Mexican food I ate in the kitchen of a Mexican, this was the most authentic experience to date. The food wasn’t hiding behind mounds of cream and cheese (or “rice and beans”), the sauces were rich, smoky and spicy, the tortillas were freshly made from scratch (and piping hot), and the margarita tasted of oranges and tequila rather than sugar and sour mix. LOVE.