This swiss chard and wild rice stuffed squash is especially good fall food. Everyone gets excited when the first winter squash shows up in the markets, and for a good reason. Not only are they extremely delicious, they are also packed with important vitamins and minerals notably alpha and beta carotenes fiber. And there’s nothing easier and more comforting, or that says ‘healthy holidays’ louder than this easy stuffed and baked squash extravaganza. Turn on the oven, and warm the house with the healthy aromas of autumn.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Brush with one tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. While squash is cooking, fill a small saucepan with 2 cups cold water, and bring to a boil. Add the wild rice. When it comes back to a boil, cover, reduce the flame to medium low and gently simmer the rice for 30-40 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Or follow package directions.
3. In a medium saucepan, pour in remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peppers and onions and cook over medium heat until soft. Then add the mushrooms and Swiss chard and cook for one minute. Then add the pine nuts, stir for another minute, and take off heat.
4. Add cooked rice into the saucepan, along with the cheese, parsley, and currants. If mixture seems dry, add in a bit of the vegetable stock until it binds. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Spoon the filling into the cooked squash, and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
6. Bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Julianne Scott, Drexel Food Lab
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Be sure to check squash with a fork, to make sure it is tender before you remove it from the oven. The rice can be made ahead of time, and added to the vegetables before scooping into the squash. If you do this, add some vegetable stock to the stuffing, so it does not get dry.
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