Even though my work schedule often means late nights at the gym or yoga studio, I make it a priority to eat a healthy, homemade dinner whenever possible. I really enjoy cooking but sometimes I simply don’t have the time to start everything from scratch at 8 p.m. I have found that products offering a short cut can really come in handy when I’m trying to get dinner together quickly, as can preparing meals ahead of time and reheating the leftovers.
I am in full fall food mode and have been buying up the winter squash at the farmers market. Recently I made a pan of acorn squash with a brown rice and veggie stuffing to have on hand for dinner after late nights at work.
Stuffed squash can be a process to put together but my prep time was short and sweet thanks to Success® Rice Whole Grain Brown Rice. I love eating brown rice but rarely make it due to its 45-50 minute cooking time. I almost always turn to something with a shorter cooking time like couscous or quinoa instead.
I have to admit that this was my first time cooking with Success Rice. It’s gluten-free and comes in four different varieties including Whole Grain Brown Rice and White Rice (which are also both available in larger 32 oz. family sized bags), Thai Jasmine and Basmati Rice. The rice is pre-measured in convenient colander style, BPA free boil-in-bags that cook in just 10 minutes.
The result was fluffy, nutty, soft and perfectly cooked brown rice that was perfect to throw into my squash filling.
While I was cooking my rice and assembling the filling, I threw the halved acorn squash in the oven to roast.
My filling was a mix of sautéed onion, shallots, kale and garlic with pecans, dried cranberries and fresh sage.
I also added some shredded cooked chicken to my filling but if you’re going for a meatless meal, you wouldn’t miss it. This would also be a great use for leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
I removed the squash from the oven once they were tender and piled them high with the brown rice stuffing mixture.
And then topped them with shredded goat gouda. You could leave the cheese off but I’m firmly in the camp that a little cheese makes everything taste even better!
I popped the squash back in the oven to finish cooking with the stuffing and took the dog for a quick walk. When I got home the house smelled amazing and I had a beautiful pan full of stuffed squash. Sadly, I had to run off to the yoga studio to teach but it was such a treat to have dinner waiting for me when I got home. It’s a simple, one-dish meal and one of my favorite fall recipes that I have ever created.
What was meant to be a simple weeknight dinner turned into something much more delicious. I want to serve this to friends and family this holiday season! It would be a beautiful entertaining meal, especially for a holiday luncheon or a simple dinner. Here’s the recipe for the stuffed squash and read to the end of the post for a giveaway!
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Rice, Kale, Cranberries and Pecans
(Recipe developed by Jen DeCurtins, Peanut Butter Runner)
2 acorn squash
2 cups Success® Whole Grain Brown Rice
1/2 large onion
2 cups chopped fresh kale
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little more
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon butter (optional but highly suggested)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, finely diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, white cheddar, gouda, monterey jack, etc)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place squash flesh side down in a baking dish and add about 1 inch of water to the pan. Loosely cover with foil and place in oven to bake until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare rice according to package directions. While rice and squash are cooking, sauté the onion, kale and shallots in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once onions are soft and translucent and kale has wilted down, add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and cranberries. Place cooked rice in a bowl and add butter and salt/pepper to taste. Add the sautéed veggie mixture and fresh sage and toss to combine. Season again to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove squash from the oven and carefully flip flesh side up. Pour any remaining water out of the baking dish. Fill the squash with the stuffing mixture, letting it overflow a bit. Top with cheese if desired. Return to the oven and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
Yield: 4 servings
Now, coupon and giveaway time. Here’s a coupon you can print at home and check out the Success Rice website for recipe ideas and inspiration. I’m also giving away a $100 Visa gift card. For your chance to win, leave a comment sharing your favorite way to use brown rice or any favorite holiday rice dishes.
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The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/17/14 – 12/26/14.
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