By Danielle Rosenberg
If you’re anything like me, leftovers present a serious problem: either you get really tired of eating them, or you get so excited about cooking other new, exciting things that you forget last Tuesday’s lunch is sitting in the fridge, forming a new species of mold.
For this recipe I used a tomato-based stir fry that I’d eaten a day or two before to stuff my squash, and was pretty impressed at how well it turned out as a filling. I then realized that, well, pretty much any leftovers could probably be turned into the filling for stuffed squash, and I haven’t looked back!
1 Acorn Squash (or really any variety that allows the seeds to be easily scooped out)
1 Cup Rice, Quinoa, Amaranth, or whatever grain you’d like
1 ½ Cups leftover vegetables (which can include meats or tempeh, tofu, etc.)
A few tablespoons of your preferred spices/herbs
Bread Crumbs (Optional)
A Hard Cheese, like Pecorino Romano (Optional)
To roast the squash preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds using a spoon, and rub all surfaces of the squash with olive oil. Then sprinkle salt and whichever spices you’d like on the inside. I also coarsely chopped a clove of garlic and stuck it inside of the squash’s cavity.
Place the squash face down in a baking dish with about a quarter-inch of water and bake for about half an hour, until a knife goes straight through the squash without much effort.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the grain and mix it in with the leftover vegetables, adding whichever spices you’d like to include.
(I used black rice, with leftovers made from green peppers and onions that I stir fried and then baked with tempeh, crushed tomatoes, and a bit of balsamic vinegar. The spice blend was mainly oregano and thyme, with some chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne and paprika.)
Feel free to add to your own: things like nuts and dried fruits really compliment the squash; experiment with the recipe.
When the squash is finished, drain the water (carefully) from the dish and turn the squash over so the cavity is facing up.
Fill the cavity with the mixture, and top with whatever you’d like: bread crumbs, cheese, anything will work really. The best part about this recipe is that it’s so flexible, and can be changed slightly to make a vegan meal, a gluten free meal, or can be made with meats, meat substitutes or just vegetables.