I don’t know about you, but I love fall. This time of year is pure magic, as the leaves begin to change and the air develops that crispness that signals winter is on its way. So many reasons to look forward to this time of year, but I think personally the food is my number one. I know I’m not alone in enjoying all the warm, hearty soups, stews and roasts that start becoming the main attractions in kitchens across the country this time of year.
As someone with a full-time job, a household to maintain and two wild and crazy kids (by kids, I mean dogs) to take care of, it can be exhausting to prepare and cook a meal at night when I’ve already spent an hour, sometimes two, commuting after upwards of ten hours at the office. This is a great meal for two that can be modified to suit your tastes and dietary preferences with relative ease. Such a filling, tasty meal that really incorporates the essence of fall in a dish.
Note: I know it can be expensive, but try your best, while remaining within your food budget, to use as many fresh, local and sustainable ingredients as possible. What you eat affects your health dramatically, and can have a huge impact on the quality of your life long-term. Organic vegetables and grass fed meat are always preferred.
What You Will Need:
1 Large Acorn Squash
1 c. of rice (I used a Jasmati rice but you could also use long-grain)
2-3 celery stalks (depending on size)
½ to 1 apple, chopped into small cubes/pieces (I used a red Gala apple but Granny Smith would also be tasty. I personally really like the apple component so I also used the whole thing, but this is up to you. ½ would still be fine without being overpowering)
½ c. shredded cheese (a nice white cheddar is perfect for this, but something like a harvarti would be nice too)
2-3 cloves of finely minced garlic
2 Tb. REAL butter (I never use a synthetic butter such as margarine)
4-8 sliced baby portabella mushrooms (or crimini mushrooms would work nice too)
Allspice (a pinch)
1/2 tsp. Sage (dried)
Ginger (a pinch)
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg (dried)
Salt (to taste. I used a black Hawaiian variety)
Pepper (to taste)
Optional: I personally chose to make this meal a vegetarian one (though I do eat meat), but you always have the option of adding a protein of your choice:
½ lb of ground meat (venison, pork, beef or turkey would all be great additions)
Tell me what you thought of this recipe! Questions on ingredient substitutions or sourcing? Feel free to ask. I'd love to hear how you tweaked this to fit your own taste buds.
Kaylyn Hansen has worked in the alternative medicine field for over four years as a patient liaison, educator, and physician's assistant.