2016

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Gorgeous stuffed squash dinner warms a cold winter’s night

Look at this magnificent creation! The idea for this meal came from a recipe I saw recently in a Vegetarian Times mag; I was immediately attracted to the beautiful look of this dish, and the seasonal flare it would add to an early winter dinner in November. I departed from the original recipe at that point, mostly because we lost power during a snow storm, rendering the complicated stuffing a bit lofty for stove top cooking. Instead, I threw together a "chili" that was reminiscent of one on my long-time favorites from the original Moosewood cookbook. We enjoyed the chili by firelight the other night, during the power outage. The squash would have to wait... Tonight, I popped the leftover chili into the squash, baked it, and Voila! A masterpiece meal. Here's the loose "recipe"...



Chili Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgar wheat
  • 2 cups tomato juice or canned tomato puree
  • onion
  • garlic
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • red and yellow peppers
  • 15-ounce can of kidney or great northern beans

Chili Preparation

  • Bring tomato juice or puree to a gentle boil.
  • Add bulgar, stirring it well, until a gentle boil returns, cover the pot, turn to simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the flame and let the bulgar sit for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, saute the onion for several minutes, add the peppers and cook for several more minutes until the peppers are soft.
  • Add the carrots and celery, and cook on a low flame for a few moments.
  • Add the chopped garlic, flavor the saute with salt and pepper, and take the saute off the stove. Keep the carrots and celery al dente!
  • Put the saute into a big pot, add the beans including the liquid in the can, add the corn, and gently heat.
  • Add the bulgar, stirring it all together.
  • Spice with cumin, cayenne, more pepper, and perhaps a tad of red wine.

Squash prep

  • Wash the squash.
  • Slice a bit off the bottom so the squash will sit evenly on a cooking sheet. Slice off the top, keeping the stem intact.
  • Scoop out the seeds and fiber strings.
  • Rub the outside skin and the inside rim with olive oil.

To finish

  • Scoop the chili into the squash.
  • Place the lid on top for a tight fit.
  • On a cookie tray, placed in a pre-heated 350 oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until the squash is soft to a fork poke.

Savor this gorgeous, hearty, healthy, and warming meal!

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

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