I absolutely love winter squash. There is something especially fabulous about winter squash. There is so much depth of flavor from the squash alone. It is also packed full of nutrition! Here are some interesting facts about acorn squash:
- It is rich in dietary fiber, with 9 grams per 1/2 cup serving which helps to regulate blood sugar, eliminate excess cholesterol from the body and promote regular bowel movements.
- It has significant levels of vitamin C for immunity and connective tissue growth.
- It is a good source of Vitamin A and beta carotene for eyes and skin.
- I also has a wide variety of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus and calcium which all serve roles to regulate blood pressure and help build strong bones.
- It is also a good source of thiamin, pantothenic acid and other B-family vitamins.
Acorn squash is affordable and readily available this time of year. I bought mine at the state farmer’s market but you can find them in all grocery stores in the fall. They are easy to slice in half, scoop out the seeds and bake.
That is why I chose this dish for dinner tonight! Remember, the more real food nutrition you can get into yourself and your kids, the better. Obtaining your nutrition from food instead of a vitamin or supplement usually is better absorbed because of the cofactors that help your body access the nutrition!
Serving size: 1/2 medium squash and 1 cup of meat and veggie mix.
4 medium acorn squash
4 large stalks of celery, diced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow squash, diced
2 medium green bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 pound water buffalo
1 pound pastured pork sausage
2 Tbsp olive, coconut or avocado oil
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub about 1 tsp of olive oil on the flesh of each squash half. Then sprinkle with real salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place on the baking sheet face up. Bake for 40-50 minutes. The flesh should be fork tender and top lightly brown.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic until soft.
4. Next, add in the sausage, brown until broken up and lightly cooked. Then, add the water buffalo. Continue browning until fully cooked.
5. Remove the cooked meat, onions and garlic from the pan and set aside on some paper towels to drain some of the fat.
6. Add 1 Tbsp of oil to the same skillet along with your celery, carrot and bell pepper. Cook until soft.
7. Add in your zucchini and yellow squash. Cook until soft.
8. Finally add back in your meat and stir to combine.
9. Place your cooked acorn squash in a pyrex dish face up. Add 1/2 cup of meat and veggie mix to each squash.
10. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes until lightly brown and crispy.
This dish was a bigger hit than I thought! The girls typically will not eat winter squash unless I puree it into a soup or make it in a sauce. You know, unless I sneak it in! But, they actually took a couple combo bites. A combo bite is when you take something you don’t like and add it to something you really like.
I prepared the veggies the day before because I had a couple extra minutes. This is a HUGE time savings if you know you are pressed for time when it comes to recipe assembly day. You could use any kind of meat or veggie combination here. I look at my “recipes” more as idea pages. Use my recipe script and tweak it to make it work for your family.