Put Stuff(ing) in Food

It’s amazing how versatile “stuffed” dishes can be. You can stuff a bird (whole roasted turkey or chicken or duck, chicken breast or roulade). You can stuff pork or beef (in some sort of roulade roast). AND.. best of all.. you can stuff vegetables. I love stuffed vegetables.. squash and peppers mostly. It’s so easy and you can use all sorts of creative ingredients to make the “stuffing”.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Beet Greens and Rice

I had saved the beet greens from the baked beets I made for Christmas Dinner. I new that I would be able to find something to do with them rather than throwing them out. Turned out pretty good for something new.

Ingredients for the stuffed acorn squash - chopped onions, separated beet greens, and minced garlic (yes a jar of it.. because I'm lazy like that.. )

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 acorn squash (depending on how many people you’re feeding)
  • about 2 cups cooked rice (wild, white, brown, mix, etc)
  • beet greens from 12 beets – stems and leaves separated
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • splash of white wine or chicken stock (about 1/4 c)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (+ extra for sprinkling)
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • unsalted butter (about 1 tbsp)

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F. Cut acorn squash in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the seeds (reserve for roasting, if you want).
  2. Pour about 3 tbsp (or so) of EVOO in the bottom of a baking sheet (large enough to hold acorn squash). Place the acorn squash on the baking sheet, cut side down. Roast for in oven for approximately 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Cut the stems into 1 inch sections and coarsely chop leafy greens.
  4. In a large pan, heat about 2 tbsp of EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add stems and wine or stock. Cook, stirring and tossing for about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add leafy greens and continue tossing and stirring until greens have slightly wilted (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat.
  5. Once the acorn squash is slight tender (when pieced with a knife – about 40 minutes), remove from oven and let cool slightly (so you can handle it). Turn oven down to 325*F.
  6. Scoop out some of the squash meat into a large bowl, leaving approximately 1/4 – 1/2 inch of meat left on the skin/shell. Add rice, cooked greens, and sliced almonds to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  7. Butter a 9×13 glass baking pan (or another size that will fit all the stuffed squash). Fill acorn squash halves with approximately 3/4 cup of rice stuffing (or what can fit – mounding a bit).
  8. Spread any leftover filling in the bottom of the baking dish. Set stuffed acorn squash on top of rice. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and dot with butter. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes.
  9. Serve HOT (but not too hot).

Stuffed acorn squash.. piping hot from the oven.. just LOOK at that COLOR.. it's almost UNNATURAL!

I also made some chocolate icecream with Dad’s new icecream maker. It was super easy to make, although takes longer than I was expecting. The booklet that comes with the maker says to mix the ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) making the icecream. It also requires that the freezer bowl be frozen (which took two days in our freezer). Once the icecream was made (only took 15 minutes in the maker), the icecream was still very soft (and a bit runny), so I transferred it to a glass bowl to freeze for a few hours. The recipe made a quart and a cup, which is a good amount for a small family.

Homemade chocolate icecream (with some store-bought vanilla)

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