Stuffed Acorn Squash

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There isn’t a lot of fall weather that goes on in San Diego. In fact, the temperature last week was higher than it was for most of the summer. But that hasn’t stopped me from craving my favorite fall foods. Especially when I read posts on Facebook from all of my friends back in Ohio, which is exactly how I came across this recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash.

It’s not something that I have ever made before, but I could tell by the ingredient list it was a winning combination. The squash adds a mellow flavor with just a touch of sweetness that balances perfectly with the somewhat spicy sausage. As with the Asian Lettuce Wraps, I was wary about using the apple. Typically fruit and savory is not a combination I like, but it works in this so don’t be afraid. Jesse kept asking, “What’s in this? It’s really good”. Which is always is a good sign.

Really quick before I get to the recipe – Today is the day that Jesse heads out for another month in China. Please excuse me while I cry like a baby having candy taken away. You’d think that maybe it would get a little easier each trip, but alas, it has not. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be OK. I’ll do what I did last time and keep myself busy and honestly a month is a whole lot shorter than his last trip. 4 Mondays. Totally doable. Now that my temper tantrum and pep talk are over, I’ll move on to the post.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients
2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1 lb mild sausage (I used turkey)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped (macintosh)
1 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sage
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the melted butter, garlic, and 1/4 tsp sage. Brush the inside and outside of each squash with the butter mix. Place the squash on a cookie sheet, cut side up, and roast for 50-60 minutes, or until fork tender.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage. When the sausage is browned, remove it from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate, set aside. To the skillet add the onions, celery, and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another 2 minutes.

Return the sausage to the skillet then remove from heat. Season with sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in the panko and Parmesan. Add the egg and stir to combine.

Divide the stuffing evenly among the four squash halves. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve with extra Parmesan for garnish.

Adapted from Food.com

Southwest Turkey Meatballs

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I can remember a point in my life when I would say, “Corn is not an ingredient!” It was actually a subject I felt pretty passionate about. To me corn was a side dish that went along with mashed potatoes, not a part of soup or salsa. What in the world was I thinking? I can’t tell you why I thought that or what changed, what I do know is that now I love it! Especially when paired black beans and cilantro. Yum!

That combination of corn, black beans, and cilantro was one of the reasons I loved this meal so much. But really, it’s one of those meals that is an all around winner. It’s healthy, it’s filling, it’s quick, and it’s easy. I knew the moment I saw the post on Rachel’s blog (Good Thymes and Good Food, fun blog name, huh?!) it would be a hit in my house and it was.


Southwest Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh cut off the cob)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed well
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup panko crumbs
1/2 tsp onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ c. chicken broth

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the corn, beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime (juice and zest), cumin, and cilantro. Lightly season with salt and pepper, set aside.

In another bowl, using clean hands, combine the ingredients for the meatballs (turkey, egg, panko, onion powder, salt and pepper). Shape into 16 meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until they are evenly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes with frequent turning. It’s OK if the meatballs aren’t fully cooked through, they will continue to cook, you’re mostly looking for browning.

Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits. Add the tomato mixture and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through and meatballs are fully cooked.

Serve over rice (brown rice keeps it healthy!) with extra cilantro and cheese for garnish.

Adapted from Good Thymes and Good Food, originally from Clean Eating Magazine