Even in sunny, Southern California there is something in the air. I could feel it walking around in the crisp first days of November over the weekend. Everyone…it’s November! When did that happen? Anyways, that slight shift in the wind, the smell of the trees, and the early onslaught of night have finally settled in. Elsewhere in the country I know that the autumn season has been in full swing and some have been experiencing a wide variety of weather. I hate to make everyone jealous, but it’s just now, finally, getting COLD here! That’s right, into the fifties at night! Time to put on that “winter layer” as I like to say: you know, that slighter softer, cushier version of yourself that appears this time of year. Not so much that anyone would notice and it’s not as if the pounds need to be packed on, but it’s hard to ignore the craving for slighter heftier foods.
Crave no more! Reader, meet Acorn Squash Stuffed with Bacon & Brown Rice, Acorn Squash, meet hungry reader This dish ticks all my must have items for a tummy warming, cold weather meal: the meatiness of the squash, the complex carbs in the brown rice, and the salty combination of the bacon with parmesan cheese mixed in. Yum! To say the least, my husband and I were thoroughly satisfied after eating this meal and I hope you will too! I would highly suggest making it “as is” for a main course; however, you could cut it into fourths and serve as a side dish. Additionally, you could go vegetarian and add some earthy mushrooms, like portabello or crimini, but if you’re not a herbivore, then you really can’t go wrong with bacon
Olive oil for cooking
1 acorn squash, halved vertically
4 pieces of cooked bacon (I used the microwave but pan-frying works too)
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of numeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced scallions for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds and string-y bits, and place face up, uncovered on a baking dish. Add a sprinkling of olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the squash starts to become tender when pierced with a fork. It should start to pull away from the skin when pricked a little bit, but not cooked completely.
Combine the rice, bacon (chopped), half of the parmesan (1/8 cup), garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and another sprinkle of olive oil just to wet the mixture in a bowl. Separate the mixture between the two halves of acorn squash, stuffing it in the center and packing down slightly. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top with another touch of olive oil. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
In terms of squash, which one is your favorite? Butternut or acorn? I can’t decide!