Make-Ahead Stuffed Squash

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tsp. southwestern seasoning -- or your favorite seasoning blend
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. minced onion
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 c. plain couscous
  • 2/3 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 T. dried apricots, chopped fine
  • 1 T. dried cranberries
  • 2 T. toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Before you want to serve this meal, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle the insides of the squash with the seasoning and lightly spray with the butter-flavored cooking spray. Roast the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet for 25 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool. Place in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until ready for use.

When you are ready to serve this meal, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric; sauté until the onion soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the couscous; stir until well-coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the dried fruit, nuts, and parsley and lemon juice. Season the dish to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the couscous mixture into the roasted squash halves and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: About an hour total
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