Apple and Beef Stuffed Acorn Squash

claire

B644221B-7B3D-4D62-9595-0D8ED724FDBAIt’s Valentine’s Day and this heart is just the most fitting shape for a Valentine’s dinner! I make this recipe all the time and it is actually pretty quick. You can even prep it ahead of time by making the ground beef mixture and storing that in the refrigerator. You can switch your stuffing up and try a few other ideas. Acorn squash is a great source for antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. This can have the potential to prevent cancer and help with cancer treatment. Prostate cancer has been researched the most but colon, breast, and lung cancer have also had research done that shows how squash can help. Acorn squash can help with blood sugar regulation and prevention of type 2 diabetes. The apples add a sweet taste to this dish. You can use sausage or ground turkey instead of ground beef if you prefer.


Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


Gluten free, dairy free, paleo


Ingredients

2 small/med acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds/strings scooped out

1 lb sweet ground beef or ground turkey

1 large onion (or 2 small) cut in half and sliced thin

3 tbsp avocado oil, ghee, coconut oil, or other cooking fat (for caramelizing the onions) + 2 tsp (for sautéing the garlic)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium-large apple, cored and diced

2 cups fresh kale or spinach, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

sea salt and black pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds.
  3. Place the 4 squash halves with the hole down and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the squash is tender with a fork.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp avocado or coconut oil over low heat and add all the onions, stirring to coat. Add salt and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Once the onions are golden brown, remove and set aside for filling.
  5. While the squash is roasting and the onions are caramelizing, add 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and cook the garlic and ground beef. Increase the heat to medium.
  6. Cook the ground beef and stir to break up lumps, about 5-8 minutes until just browned. Add the apples and herbs and continue to cook, stirring until the apples soften. Add the kale or spinach, salt and pepper until the kale wilts.
  7. Add the caramelized onions to the ground beef mixture, leaving excess cooking fat in the pan. Preheat your broiler, then fill all 4 halves of the squash with the stuffing mixture (you may have leftover depending on how big your squash was).
  8. Arrange the squash on the baking sheet, stuffing side up, and put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until the tops get nice and toasty. Check often to prevent burning. Once nice and browned, remove from oven, allow to cool and serve warm.
  9. Enjoy!

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