This past month I was invited to join the Gluten-Free Vegan Holiday Recipe Exchange on Facebook. This group was the brainchild of my friend, Priscilla Matuson (click here to check out her wonderful blog)! One of the recipes posted this past week was a Spinach, Mushroom, Quinoa and Pine Nut Stuffed Squash by The Gluten Free Vegan. If you know me well, then you'll know that I love to play with recipes, essentially create variations on a theme. I hope you enjoy my twist on this recipe. Btw, the rice would work wonderful as a side, on it's own or as a stuffing for something else.
4 acorn squashes or other winter squash of your choice
1 cup wild rice
2 1/4 cup water or broth of your choice
2 tablespoons coconut oil or other oil of your choice
2 to 3 shallots
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 cups chopped swiss chard (chiffonade style)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash (cut side down) in a ceramic dish or on a cookie sheet (you will need several). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until tender.
Add the water/broth and wild rice to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
While the squash and rice are cooking, heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots until softened. Then add the swiss chard, pine nuts, cranberries and thyme and saute another 10 to 15 minutes (until the swiss chard is wilted). Add the cooked rice to the saute pan. Stir well and then season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter (I put it in a bowl and place it in the oven for a few minutes, since we don't use a microwave). Pull the squashes out of the oven and brush the inside of each squash with butter. At this point it is optional to brush the inside with honey or maple syrup. Stuff the wild rice mixture into each squash and return to the oven and bake on 350°F for an additional 15 minutes.
This dish works well as an entree or a side. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."