Roasted Acorn Squash with Mushroom Gravy

Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with cranberries, mushrooms and rice

Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash and Mushroom Gravy

This is Fall cooking at its best. Roasted Acorn squash stuffed with mushrooms, rice, walnuts and dried fruit. It's super customizable, healthy and DELICIOUS. This one dish is a complete meal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Rest time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • 2 small pots
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • whisk
  • baking dish
  • pastry brush

Ingredients
  

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped
  • ¼ cup of apricots chopped
  • ¼ cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of textured vegetable protein
  • 1 cup of mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Mushroom Stock:
  • 1/2 cup of dried mushrooms
  • 1 sprig of sage remove 5 leaves and set aside for garnish
  • 2 cups of water
  • Mushroom Gravy:
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • mushrooms reserved from mushroom stock
  • 5-8 sage leaves
  • 1 cup mushroom stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Carefully cut squash in half, length wise. Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to get the seeds and stringy bits out. Generously brush the tops with olive oil — you can also just drizzle oil and spread with a spoon.
  • Roast your squash. After 45 minutes, check in on it. You should be able prick it easily with a fork. If it isn't ready, let it cook for another 15 minutes.
  • While the squash is cooking prepare your rice. Measure 1 cup of rice (jasmine or basmati) and rinse until the water is clear. Soak for 20 minutes.
  • Make your stuffing. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil medium low heat. Add the onions. Sprinkle with salt to sweat the onions. Add the celery and carrots. Sautée for 10 minutes. This is called mirepoix.
  • Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and sautée for another 10 minutes.
  • While the mushrooms, celery and mushrooms are cooking, cut the walnuts and apricots and chiffonade the sage.
  • Add in the walnuts, dried cranberries, sage and apricots. Stir well and taste. Adjust with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes on low and then set aside.
  • Drain rice, and add the appropriate amount of water and cook. Add a good pinch of salt and bring it to boil. As soon as it is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover. Rice should be ready in 20 minutes.
  • Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop out the flesh in the centre of both squash halves, leaving about a 1/4 inch border all around.
  • Cover the textured vegetable protein with boiled water (just enough to cover) and allow to sit for a few minutes. If necessary, drain and add to stuffing mix.
  • Make your mushroom stock. Place your dried mushrooms in a small sauce pan. Cover with two cups of water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain the though a sieve and set mushrooms aside. You can use this mushroom stock for soup stock or more gravy! It freezes really well.
  • Stuff the squash: Pack in as much of the stuffing into the squash halves. Return to your baking dish and bake for another another 15 minutes.
  • Make the mushroom gravy while the stuffed squash is roasting.
  • Heat a small pan with a tablespoon of oil. Slice the onion and place in the pan. Sprinkle some salt to sweat the onion. Add some fresh ground pepper and six leaves of sage thinly sliced. Continue to sautée.
  • Pour in ¾ cup of mushroom stock. With the remaining ¼ cup, mix 1 teaspoon of corn starch and make a slurry. Stir the corn starch just before you pour it into the gravy so it doesn't harden or get lumpy.
  • Stir the gravy while you are pouring. It should thicken in about one minute.
  • Remove the stuff squash from the oven. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with gravy.

Notes

If you don’t want to use Textured Vegetable Protein you could substitute: tofu, cooked lentils, plant based protein, ground beef or turkey, farro or wheat berries.
For herbs you could substitute rosemary for sage. If you don’t have fresh sage, use dried sage sparingly — start with a teaspoon each in the stuffing mix and mushroom stock and adjust as needed. 
If you don’t have corn starch you could use flour or potato or tapioca starch to thicken your gravy. 
You can cook your squash in the microwave to save time. Cook on high for 15 minutes and then check. Continue to cook in 5 minute intervals until you can prick it easily. 
You can pre-make many of the ingredients to save time: use left over rice or make the gravy or mushroom stock ahead of time or even cook the squash ahead of time. 
Keyword cranberries, fall cooking, lentils, mushroom gravy, savoury, squash, walnuts
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