This is a long-time favourite in our house, and it’s the perfect thing to make when you want to impress someone, but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen! In the time that it takes to bake the squash (40 minutes), you make the rice and sauté the rest of the ingredients so it’s all ready at the same time. I used to make this dish with a few sides, but it’s so filling that no one could finish! This is a great meal to make for non-vegans, because they’ll be so full and satisfied that they won’t miss meat at all! I’ve made it for Thanksgivings, Christmases, Cottage Dinners, Family Dinners.. you name it!
This meal feels so decadent and fancy, but it’s so simple!!
You can totally make the cranberry sauce that’s in the original recipe… but I just buy a canned cranberry sauce and had the juice of half an orange ;). My version is what’s shown below.
The other great thing is that all the ingredients can be found at any grocery store!
The recipe is by Hot For Food, and can be found below, or (with the recipe for the homemade cranberry sauce) on their website here.
2 acorn squash
1/3 C melted vegan butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
1 C brown rice and wild rice mixture
1 1/2 C water
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed and drained (I use a can of corn, drained)
1 C finely chopped red pepper
3 C finely chopped kale, stems removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 C tahini (the runny kind from the ethnic food section, not the raw kind from the health food section!)
CRANBERRY SAUCE (My version)
1 C canned whole cranberry sauce
The juice from half an orange
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the acorn squashes in half. Scoop out the seeds and flesh and save the seeds to make a toasted garnish (instructions to follow).
Melt vegan butter and mix with maple syrup. Brush the mixture onto each half of the fleshy part of the squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You'll use about half the melted butter mixture to coat the squash and you'll want to have some left for the seeds and to cook the stuffing. Bake the squash, flesh side up in a dish or on a foiled baking sheet for 40 minutes until soft and golden brown. You'll want to baste the squash with a brush half way through baking with the butter pooled in the middle.
Toss the seeds in 2 tsp of the melted butter and maple syrup mixture and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake them in the oven alongside the squash for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. until brown and toasted.
While the squash is baking, bring the rice, water, and sea salt to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 35 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Cooking time for rice will vary depending on what brand or mixture you're using, so follow instructions as per the package you have. Once rice is cooked and tender remove from the heat and leave covered while you make the rest of the stuffing. You can also make rice ahead of time or use leftover rice.
Heat a large pan over medium, and add the remaining vegan butter and maple syrup mixture and finely chopped onion. Sauté the onion for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for another 2 minutes.
Stir in corn and red pepper and turn the heat to medium-high to start getting some nice caramelization on the corn and peppers. Stir fry this mixture for another 4 to 6 minutes. Then lower the heat and stir in finely chopped kale and minced garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. When the kale is just wilted, but still bright green, add in the rice. Combine everything and then stir in tahini. Taste the stuffing and add sea salt and pepper to your taste. Once everything is mixed thoroughly remove the rice stuffing from the heat.
At this point your squash are baked through so you can turn the oven off and stuff the rice mixture into the centre of each squash and leave them in the oven to stay warm while you make the red wine cranberry sauce.
Heat up the canned cranberry sauce, and add the fresh orange juice.
Pour 1 to 2 tbsp of cranberry sauce over each stuffed squash and garnish with the toasted seeds.