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Baked Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Edamame, Walnuts and Cranberries

There are so many foods that can be stuffed with yummy goodness and none of them need to involve a turkey. Stuffing vegetables (and fruit) allows you to be imaginative and creative.
When stuffing vegetables, you can just use whatever you have around. Choose a grain like rice, quinoa, millet, cous cous or barley. Add something for crunch like apples or nuts. Toss in something sweet and/or tart such as raisins, cranberries or any dried fruit. And I like to add something green like spinach or kale.
This time the star is the acorn squash. I stuffed it with a combination of wild rice, edamame, walnuts and cranberries. The wild rice is hearty and full of flavor, the edamame adds a soft but firm texture (and is my something green), the walnuts add crunch and the cranberries add a tart flavor. The squash itself tastes sweet when you bake it and a little maple syrup helps it along.
My Stuffed Acorn Squash makes a great entree or side dish for your holiday table. Follow my recipe or get creative with your own. Enjoy!
Baked Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Edamame, Walnuts and Cranberries
1 Tbs. vegan butter
1 cup wild rice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 cups water
½ cup frozen Edamame
Salt and pepper to taste
1 acorn squash
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. maple syrup

¼ cup gluten-free bread crumbs mixed with 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 Tbs. vegan butter. Add the wild rice, walnuts and dried cranberries to the pot and cook for about 1 minute to toast the rice. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat and let simmer for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 10 more minutes. Add the Edamame, turn the heat back on low and let them heat through. You want the Edamame to still have a firm texture. Fluff rice with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the squash. Cut the acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts. Brush some oil on both the insides and skin of the squash. Brush the maple syrup on the cut halves of the squash. Lay the squash, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

When the rice is ready, stuff the rice into the acorn squash. Fill the squash generously. If desired, top the rice with the bread crumbs/oil mixture. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are browned. Serve while hot.
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.
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