Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Autumn Brown Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

It's back to school time after a nice 3 day weekend.  This weekend was pretty great.  I had my nephew's bar mitzvah and so all of my out of town family was around and we had a great time celebrating!  We had multiple dinners together and it was so nice to see everyone.  

I also love 3 day weekends because I just feel like I get so much more done.  For example, I was able to do my long runs, see all of my family, and prep food for this week.  One of the meals that I made for this week was a special request of Bri's.  We made our very own Vegetarian Thanksgiving back in November and this dish was a huge hit.  I made some Autumn Brown Rice and then stuffed it into a Roasted Acorn Squash.  It was crazy yummy!  Last night I made a double batch of the brown rice because I wanted to have leftovers and you can totally eat it on its own.  The acorn squash provides a beautiful presentation and it is yummy, but it is not necessary.  Also, if you don't want to use cranberries, you can also use any sort of dried fruit.  I used fresh cranberries the first time around and let them cook in the rice until they were bursting, but the second time around I used dried cherries and they were also great! 

Autumn Brown Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
(adapted from Carlsbad Cravings)

(makes 1 batch, you can also double everything if you want a ton of leftover rice)
2 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup brown rice
2 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, sliced
1 apple, cored and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup fresh cranberries (or dried)

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Place your halved squash facing up on a baking sheet and brush the insides and sides with olive oil.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the squash and then cover with tinfoil.  Roast in the oven to 40-50 minutes or until squash can be pierced with a fork.
2. While the squash is roasting, place a large pot on the stove and bring vegetable broth, apple juice, butter, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaf and rice to boil.  Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.  
3. Drain the rice after 45 minutes and place the empty pot back on the stove over medium heat.  Add in the 2 tbsps of butter, onion, and apples.  Cook for 5-7 minutes so that the onion is translucent.  Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Then, add the rice back in along with the apple cider vinegar, pecans, and cranberries.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so.
4.  Scoop some rice mixture into each side of the roasted squash and serve!

Enjoy :)

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