This is a fairly time-intensive dish, but takes very little hands-on effort. You'll just need to start the rice and squash cooking a little more than an hour before dinner time. It is so worth it! This dish is the perfect mix of sweet and savory.

Sweet and Savory Wild Rice Stuffed Squash [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Cooking Time

75

Ingredients

For the squash:

  • 2 small acorn squash, halved, seedy pulp removed
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons coconut palm sugar, or brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

For boiling the rice:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup wild rice
  • 1 1/3 cup vegetable stock

For mixing into the rice:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots or red onions, or both, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachios, toasted
  • 5 dried apricots, soaked in warm water and chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (preferably fruit-sweetened, no sugar added)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Arrange squash cut side up in a lightly oiled baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil and syrup over the squash and sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until browning and fork-tender.
  2. While squash bakes, cook the rice. Bring rice, stock and olive oil to a boil and lower to a simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Stir and remove from heat, and set aside covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Toast the nuts on a sheet pan in the oven for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside.
  4. Sauté shallots or onions and celery in olive oil for 3 minutes.  Stir into the rice. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add to the rice: half the nuts, all of the apricots, cranberries, and half of the parsley and mint.
  6. When the squash is cool enough to touch, scrape and mash the flesh a bit with a fork within each half. Place a bit of rice onto each and keep warm in the oven, if needed. Serve topped with nuts, parsley and mint, and extra rice on the side.
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