Hi all, how is the week going? Many of my fellow food bloggers were at the Everything Food Conference in Salt Lake City this past weekend. I so would have loved to go, especially after hearing about how wonderful the speakers were. Maybe next year. So, instead of immersing myself into the food blogging world, I had fun with my little family enjoying the warmer weather we’re finally getting!
This weekend we fit in multiple walks with the boys, played at a few parks and enjoyed a lot of much needed family time. My amazing husband, Etienne, also KILLED his honey-do list. Yay! A sandbox was built, the lawn was mowed, a new car seat and toilet seat was installed – hey – I never said they were glamorous jobs!!
Anyway, on Saturday night we also enjoyed this lovely Moroccan couscous-stuffed acorn squash! This recipe is an old favorite of ours, and it was actually one of the first meals Etienne and I made together when we first started dating. It’s so easy to whip up, and it’s healthy, flavorful and perfect for a Meatless Monday meal!
Have you ever cooked with acorn squash before? I absolutely love them!! Not only is this type of squash SO good for you (think vitamin A, folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C), it’s the perfect shape for stuffing all sorts of delicious grains and veggies into and serving as a meal. Plus, they actually look like big acorns so you can channel your inner squirrel. Did I actually just say that? Umm…forget that please.
Anyway, the recipe has evolved since we originally started making it. I’ve since started including orange juice to give it a subtle citrus flavor, plus I’ve added diced peppers, apricots and almonds. I’ve also started using the seeds, roasted, as an additional garnish. If you love roasted pumpkin seeds, you definitely need to try roasting these acorn squash seeds. I occasionally eat all of them before I get the chance to use them as garnish. I think they’re great, but Etienne likens them to “woodchips” so….you make the call. Scattered on a large cookie sheet and lightly salted, the seeds will take about 10-12 minutes to roast, at 325 F.
After scooping out the pulp and seeds, the squash itself takes about 30 minutes to cook, so you can easily prepare all the fruits and veggies and cook them along with the couscous within that timeframe.
Once roasted, the squash gets lightly basted with brown sugar and melted butter – trust me – you don’t want to skip that step! The extra sweetness is the perfect addition to the savory vegetable and couscous mixture.
Fill your warm, sweet squash with as much of the couscous mixture as you can get into it; overflowing is perfectly acceptable. My husband and I can eat quite a bit in one sitting, but one serving (1 squash half) is more than enough for each of us. The squash is so filling! This is one veggie meal that will certainly not leave you wanting more.
Try this quick and easy dish for your next vegetarian meal!Check out this yummy vegetarian Moroccan-style acorn squash from Love In My Oven!Click To Tweet
Moroccan Couscous-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Yield 4 servings
Roasted acorn squash glazed with butter and brown sugar is stuffed with a lightly spiced Moroccan style couscous, fruit and vegetable mixture.
- 2 large acorn squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 3/4 cup chicken stock*
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice the acorn squash lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Discard, or see notes above for roasting seeds. Place the squash flesh-side down on a large cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the onion becomes soft. Add the vegetables and spices (carrots through cinnamon) and cook, stirring often, until all of the vegetables become soft.
- Add the almonds, stock and orange juice, turn off the heat and mix in the couscous. Put the lid on and allow the couscous to be absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Remove the cooked squash from the oven, and brush the inside of the squash with the butter/brown sugar mixture. Fill each squash half with the couscous mixture, topping with roasted squash seeds if desired.
- Substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock to keep this dish vegetarian.
Recipe originally adapted from All Recipes
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