Friday, October 12, 2012

Labbits Like: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Tri fever hasn't cooled off in the warren. With the addition of Masher's new friend Doddy Blue, the warren continues growing. To feed all these labbits, it's an initiation rite to get the new labbit cooking in the kitchen. Enter Doddy Blue!

Inspired by Xterra triathlete, mountain biker, and fooding and fueling pro Jessica Cerra, Masher and Blue whipped up her stuffed acorn squash recipe, featured recently on Triathlete magazine's website. Below is their adaptation to her recipe. It was incredibly autumnal and tasty, and it made lots of extra stuffing for the warren to have leftovers. Yum! Print the recipe here.

Labbits love kale!
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Spiced Wild Rice, Kale, Apple and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:
2 acorn squash
1 bunch of kale, chopped
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 large apple, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey (maple syrup might be a nice alternative)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp stone ground mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Preparation:

Careful with that knife tip, Masher...
Note: Wild rice takes a lot longer to cook and requires more water than white rice. Plan ahead! Start the rice NOW so it will be ready to add to the stuffing when the time comes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil. Wash the acorn squash, then carefully halve. Raw acorn squash are hard to cut. Sometimes you need the help of a friend.



Scoop out the seeds and discard.

Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil onto the flesh of the squash. Rub the oil into the flesh (or, to keep your paws clean, use a handy kitchen tool to spread the oil). Grind up 1/2 tsp of sea salt and sprinkle onto the squash.

Turn the squash halves over (get help if you need it, they can be heavy for little labbits) and bake, flesh side down, for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the flesh has a golden crust. It won't be fully cooked, but will complete cooking when stuffed with stuffing.



You can toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet on low heat, if you like. Keep them moving in the skillet until they are lightly toasted. Don't forget they're still going in the oven!

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of oil. Saute the onion for 2 - 3 minutes until softened. Add the kale, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice and saute another 5 minutes.

When you add the kale to the skillet it'll look totally insane, but don't worry! That will cook down, promise. Add the honey (or maple syrup. Mmmmm...) and saute another 2 minutes.




See? The kale cooked down. Mmm does that stuffing look good. Now, in a small bowl whisk together the last Tbsp of olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and mustard. Stir in the chopped apple, pine nuts and cooked wild rice, and add it to the kale mixture. Mix to distribute evenly.

Turn the oven heat down to 375°F. Flip the squash over and stuff with stuffing! There will be lots of stuffing, so mound it up high! Any leftover stuffing can be eaten as leftovers or served alongside this dish. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the squash is soft and the rice mixture is warmed through.

Yields: 4 hearty dinner sized servings.

Sometimes Uncle Warren has to sit down with the labbits to go over important self care information.


A word of warning: As good as this stuff smells, make sure you don't stay in the oven while the squash is cooking. In fact, here's some helpful advice on how to care for your plush labbits, from labbit creator Frank Kozik:


Masher and Doddy Blue could take the heat...at least for 20 minutes. They must have figured they could bake and give their hardworking muscles a dry sauna session. Please, keep your labbits out of the oven. Their fur is enough to keep them warm!

5 comments:

  1. Now I just have to wait for acorn squash to appear in my CSA box or at the farmer's market! Yum!

    Glad to see that Masher and Doddy found their way back to the warren after their post-race adventures. :)

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  2. That recipe sounds fantastic! What color is doddy blue? Is he a light blue or a dark blue?

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    Replies
    1. In that series of mini Happy Labbit Plush (2") I believe there's a medium blue and a really deep blue. Doddy Blue is the more medium blue one.

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