In the days leading up to our move I kept telling myself I’d pre-write several blog posts in advance so I wouldn’t be stressed out about posting while we were moving. As it happens, I am writing this while sitting at our kitchen table, which is literally the only piece of furniture left in our apartment, and I’m surrounded by boxes (empty and full), piles of stuff, and essentially…a big mess.
The only reason we decided to even leave the table in the apartment instead of loading it into the truck and hauling it to the new house with the rest of our furniture was because we don’t yet have internet hooked up at the new place, and the kitchen table is the one place we actually sit down and get stuff done. So the table stayed, and we’ll just load it up later after we’ve moved all the rest of our stuff and hooked up internet.
As you might imagine, we’ve been cooking a lot of one-pot meals lately; crockpot chili and roasted chicken and the gorgeous stuffed festival squash.
Festival squash is essentially an acorn squash with bright yellow or white streaks running through it – at least as best I can tell. The flavor is similar, but we bought these festival squash at the farmers market because – why else? They’re pretty and we thought we’d try something different.
Squash is one of my favorite winter vegetables, particularly when it’s roasted in the oven and gets all caramel-y and sweet, but another great way to enjoy squash varieties like acorn or festival is to stuff them with a mixture of ground meat, rice, and veggies. All it takes is to whip up your stuffing ingredients, shove it inside the squash, and let them roast in the oven for about an hour.
Would it surprise any of you if I mentioned once again that I love roasting vegetables?
Once these babies come out of the oven you can either eat the insides out as if eating out of a bowl (leaving the skin behind), or you can cut your bowl up and eat the whole thing – skin and all! Kevin prefers to leave the skin, I tend to eat it. Whatever floats your boat! Either way, this stuffed festival squash is the perfect one-pot meal for a chilly autumn night. (And just wait until winter! Can’t you see yourself curled up on the couch with a steaming festival squash bowl stuffed with meat and rice and veggies? No?)
Oh, and someone told me today that we’re supposed to get a really bad winter this year. (Really Bad Winter = Lots of Snow). This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve heard this…and we’re moving into a house…with a driveway and a yard.
I should probably invest in a good snow shovel. Or better yet, find someone who will shovel for me.
STUFFED FESTIVAL SQUASH
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 60 minutes
four small festival squash
1 pound ground meat (we used turkey)
1.5 cups cauliflower rice
vegetables of your choice – grated carrot, peas, chopped onion, celery, etc…
garlic salt, onion powder, and smoked paprika to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a very sharp nice, chop the top of your acorn squash and set aside – this will be your “lid”. Scoop out the insides of the squash and discard. Add a pat of butter (just a thin slice) to the bottom of each squash. Meanwhile, brown your ground meat and set aside. In the same pan, sautee your vegetables. Once finished, add the cooked meat, cauliflower rice, and spices and heat until cooked through – approximately 10 minutes total. Fill the squash with equal amounts of stuffing and place the lid back on the squash. Roast in the oven at 375 for one hour or until squash skin pierces easily with a knife.