This Friendsgiving, I was looking for a main dish that was a stunner. I wanted something that was easy, looked hard, wasn’t expensive, could feed a crowd, was gluten free, vegan, and tasted great. I know. I felt like I was searching for a unicorn.
While browsing Pinterest, I came across several recipes that caught my eye. One was for a wild rice and sausage stuffing. One was for stuffed acorn squash. Both looked pretty good. Neither was what I needed. I gathered my supplies and threw caution to the wind.
On the day of the party, I crossed my fingers. I had never tried this recipe before, and I was about to serve it to somewhere between ten and twenty guests. I hoped it would work.
It did! In fact, it turned out so well that I’m sharing my secrets. One of my secrets is that I never use recipes. I generally look at recipes, think “that looks good,” then do it my way. My way is slightly different each time I make it. This is endlessly frustrating to people who try to copy my recipes. That’s why my other secret is this: modify! Almost everything can be substituted, as long as you don’t expect it to turn out exactly like mine.
Without further ado, here is my “recipe” for stuffed acorn squash. This recipe serves 10 people, but can easily be adjusted to serve fewer.
Stuffed Acorn Squash:
5 Acorn Squash
2 cups wild rice, uncooked
3 cups vegetable broth
Earth Balance vegan “butter”
1 1/2 packs baby portobello mushrooms
3 stalks celery
Garlic to taste
1 cup dried cranberries
Crushed unsalted almonds, to taste
Roughly 1 tablespoon sage
Roughly one tablespoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut the ends off the acorn squash so they will sit flat, then cut the acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and “guts” of the acorn squash.
Rub the acorn squash with Earth Balance, then place on baking sheet with cavity facing upward.
Roast for roughly 30 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, dice your onion. Slice mushrooms and celery.
Prepare rice according to package directions. I cook mine in veggie broth instead of water.
Add mushrooms, onion, celery, and garlic to a pan with Earth Balance over medium heat. Sauté until cooked but firm. Add sage and thyme, salt and pepper.
After rice is finished cooking, add the cooked celery, onion, garlic, and mushrooms to the wild rice. Toss to combine.
Spoon the wild rice mixture into the cavity of the cooked acorn squash.
Put stuffed squash back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven; serve hot.
That’s it! That’s my (soon to be) famous wild rice stuffed acorn squash. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and can be soy free if you use Earth Balance Soy Free.
What did you make for your holiday celebration?