Veggies are the bomb diggity! Local farmers’ markets are my venue of choice to to grab them, with more variety and freshness than anywhere else. Several times a week I immerse myself in the beauty of the markets – the hustle and bustle, farmers proudly arranging their bounty in perfect symmetry, silky eggplant waiting to be roasted into a beautiful ratatouille. I have been known to come home with several bags full, unpack everything onto the kitchen counter and say, “I think my eyes were bigger than my refrigerator!” When I feed my body with natural, fresh fruits and vegetables, I just feel better all around – body, mind, and soul. That being said, I am not a complete vegetarian, but more of a “Flexitarian.” Probably 65% of my meals and snacks are vegetarian, however I do enjoy this killer Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney and have to confess that while teaching my Harvest Desserts class last week at Local D’Lish I won the class over with my Candied Bacon Apple Crisp. (recipe to come shortly on my blog!)
My idea for this vegetarian dish was inspired by a couple things:
1. My love for every type of squash you can think of! When the crisp autumn air brings a slight chill to my hands as I stroll through the markets, I am not thinking about the winter that is just a short time ahead. Instead, my mind is dreaming of how to prepare all the different varieties of squash that will soon warm my soul and home.
2. Wanting to jazz things up a bit with the friendly acorn squash who is normally prepared on the sweet side. I wanted to make something savory and packed with flavor, enough to be a meal all on its own. Acorn squash has 145% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A, along with Vitamin C, B, folate, and a hefty dose of beta carotene! Add in the black beans for protein, the tomatoes as an antioxidant, and you are well on your way to a complete meal.
3. The last of the cilantro growing in my garden was begging to be used. And let me tell you, featuring it in the sauce really sealed the deal on this recipe!
With that, let’s cheers to a great Vegetarian Awareness Month, to Nicole for having me guest post on her site, and to all the wonderful farmers who grow such wonderful produce that we can feed our bodies with!
Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cilantro Cream Sauce
2 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 green onion, diced
Seasoning mix (1/2 t each cumin, smoked paprika, sea salt)
1 c tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cilantro Cream (puree with immersion blender)
1/2 c light sour cream
1/4 c chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 t salt
1 clove garlic, minced
Paint olive oil onto squash, then pat with 1/2 of seasoning mix. Roast in 400 degree oven until fork tender. While squash is roasting, sauté onion and 1 clove garlic in bit of olive oil. When fragrant add beans, tomatoes, green peppers. Cook for 5-6 minutes, and remove from heat. Spoon out some of the squash from each halve and add to bean mixture in separate bowl. Stuff each half and drizzle cilantro cream on top!
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