4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

stuffed squash

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!

The best thing I did when I discovered I had Type 2 Diabetes was to call Robin Mallery. She coached me to craft a plan to turn this condition around, and the encouragement to believe that I can.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I am managing well, using Robin’s program of small steps, achievable goals, and positive reinforcement.  She’s not only a fountain of knowledge and experience, but a loving teacher and motivator.  For the first time in years, I don’t feel helpless about eating and weight gain.  Thank you, Robin!

—GC, Austin

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