Acorn Squash Stuffed with Turkey and Wild Rice
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded (Note: Keep the seeds – you’ll need them for the stuffing!)
- seeds of the acorn squash
- cooking spray
- 200g lean ground turkey
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 small onion, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped walnut pieces
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp wild rice
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp orange juice
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and place the acorn squash, cut side up on top. Use a basting brush to coat the flesh with the agave nectar. Spread out the seeds on the aluminum foil next to the squash, and sprinkle the squash and seeds with salt. Roast the seeds for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Be careful not to burn them – they will look something like this when finished:
Continue roasting the squash for about 45-50 mins, or until flesh is soft when pricked with a fork. (Note: If you don’t have enough time to do this, you can accelerate the process by zapping the squash in the microwave for 10 minutes. This will reduce the time needed for roasting to about 25 mins.)
Meanwhile, coat small frying pan with cooking spray and brown the turkey. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion and celery until celery is slightly softened. Stir in garlic, walnuts, cranberries, rice, ½ tsp thyme, and season with black pepper. Cook for another minute.
Add water and orange juice, and lower heat to simmer. Cover the saucepan and allow the rice to cook for 20-25 mins. Check the pot every 5 minutes to ensure that the rice does not get stuck to the bottom.
When squash has finished roasting, take the baking sheet out of the oven. Add turkey back into the rice mixture and stir until heated throughout. Scoop the stuffing into each squash half, and sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp with thyme.
Cover the squash halves with foil and return the squash to the oven for 5 minutes. Place one half on each plate and serve.
Nutrition per serving: 367 calories, 13g fat, 3g saturated fat, 65mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 42g carbs,5g fiber, 6g sugar, 24g protein.