Monday, November 2, 2009

Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash

I accumulated a few acorn squashes during the end of October, and I decided that today they'd met their match. I've never actually prepared acorn squash before, so after some poking around online, I found a few recipes that inspired the concoction below. It was a great mix of flavors that you don't usually find on my table- the roommates loved it!

Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 red onion

5 cloves garlic

2 cups couscous

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup parmesan, shredded

Half acorn squash and remove seeds. Place in a baking dish face down and cook in a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and scoop out flesh and place in a large bowl, keeping shell in tact.

While squash is cooking, heat a large skillet on medium heat and cook beef until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside in the bowl with the squash. Warm oil in the same skillet and cook onions and garlic about 5 minutes. Cook couscous to directions and add to bowl. Stir in pecans, basil, cilantro, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper.

Add mixture into squash shells and top with parmesan cheese. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes. then serve.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste

Place in inch of water in a large saucepan and place a steamer basket in it; bring water to a simmer. Peel potatoes and dice into 1 inch pieces. Steam about 20 minutes, then drain. Add potatoes back to warm pot and add in remaining ingredients and mash to desired smoothness. Enjoy!

I served with a grape salad that included about 4 cups red seedless grapes, 1 ounce crumbled feta and 4-5 torn basil leaves.