[edited to add pics]
I came up with this last night as a way to use up some of the abundance of winter produce in my fridge and pantry and it might just be the best random recipe I’ve ever thrown together. My husband (the infamous TBear) and I were both absolutely shocked at how tasty and satisfying it was – it’s so veggie-intensive that it’s very light on the digestion even though it’s filling, and the flavors are a delicious mix of sweet (from the squash) and savory (from the filling).
TBear’s schedule on Mondays is such that he isn’t home until almost 8:00 pm, so we end up eating dinner very late on those days and I’m always trying to make Monday dinners satisfying but not too heavy, since we go to bed by 10:00 pm and don’t want to be trying to sleep on a full stomach. This hit the absolute perfect balance and I can’t wait to have it again tonight. Sorry I didn’t think to take any pics – I never expected it to be so good that I’d go to the trouble of even writing it down, much less blogging about it. Sorry for the lousy pics – grabbed my cellphone at the last minute to snap a shot.
Roasted Delicata Squash Stuffed with Turkey Sausage, Chard, and Brown Rice
4 delicata squash
2 tsp olive oil
4 large whole leaves of swiss chard
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 large leaves fresh sage, cut chiffonade-style
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup cooked crumbled (breakfast-style) turkey sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles but you could sub meatless sausage-style crumbles or whatever you prefer)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar
To prepare squash:
Preheat oven to 425. Wash squash (the peels are edible so you want them clean), cut in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds, creating “squash boats.” Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray, spray the squash with non-stick spray on all sides, and place cut-side-down on the baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes.
To prepare filling:
Remove ribs from chard and chop finely; set aside. Cut chard leaves into small strips (chiffonade-style). Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and chopped chard stalks; saute until onion is limp and just beginning to brown. Add chard leaves and bell pepper; saute until chard is limp. Add sage, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and turkey sausage, saute 2 minutes. Add rice and pine nuts, saute until heated through.
Flip the roasted squash halves so the cut sides are up and spoon the filling into the centers. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately – each serving is 2 stuffed halves.
If you want to serve two (like we did), I recommend making up the filling as written but only roasting two delicata squash. Refrigerate half the filling and use the next night, roasting two additional squash and warming the filling before stuffing into the squash halves in the final step.
You can make this dairy-free by omitting the cheddar, although if you omit the cheddar I’d recommend adding another umami-ingredient like sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, or dashi. You can also use a meat-substitute to make this dish vegetarian or vegan (be sure to either use a sausage-style meat substitute or add appropriate spices, otherwise the dish will be bland).
This recipe is 21 Day Fix friendly and equates to 1 1/2 green, 1/2 red, 1/2 yellow, 3/4 blue (add 1/4 cup additional cheese or pine nuts to the recipe as written if you want to pull it up to a whole blue), and 1/2 teaspoon per serving.