So I recently learned that rice doesn’t agree with me. A huge bummer since I can’t do dairy, corn, soy or gluten either. I always try to look at the bright side of things and this just forces me to get every more creative. It is always my goal to create recipes that are simple, budget friendly and use ingredients that are easily found at health food stores. One of my money saving secrets for a real food, gluten-free lifestyle is to shop at health food stores. Since that is what they buy in bulk, the price is much lower than at any other mainstream grocery store.
Fall Produce Favorites
I absolutely love fall foods. Acorn squash has a great flavor perfect for those who didn’t grow up eating winter squashes. I haven’t had a friend, family member, or client who hasn’t liked it. Pumpkin and butternut squash are more potent in the squash flavor, while kabocha squash has very little flavor and makes a great base for those who want the nutrient content but no the flavor. Winter squash is incredibly versatile once you dive in and experiment.
My favorite thing to do with winter squashes is to stuff them. You can use meat, vegetables, wild rice, quinoa, and/or legumes, the possibilities are endless. As I move away from a grain centered lifestyle, I find I like to use the flavor of meat while stuffing in as many vegetables as I can get away with. For this recipe I used a sweet italian seasoned ground sausage, onion, garlic, basil and kale seasoned with ground sage and a little salt for roasting the squash.
To open an acorn squash I cut off the tops then cut them in half, top to bottom. Using a spoon I scoop out the seeds and strings and toss. Then I lightly coat with olive oil using a mister (like this one), sprinkle with salt, and roast in a preheated oven on 400 for 20 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, dice onions, mince garlic, and process kale and basil in your food processor or chop finely with a large knife. Heat your large skill on medium heat and start browning the sausage, chopping into as small of pieces as possible. Once sausage is browned, about 8-10 minutes, add in onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add in garlic, kale, basil, and ground sage. Mix well and remove from heat.
Once the squash has cooked 20 minutes, remove from oven and stuff with sausage-kale mixture and place back in the oven on the top rack and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving!
Sausage and Kale Stuffed Squash
- 2 Large Acorn Squash
- 1 lb breakfast sausage*
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 heaping handful fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried
- 1 bunch purple kale, finely chopped**
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 4 cloves minced garlic
*I used wild boar but pork or turkey would be fine. If you use turkey sausage I recommend a couple tablespoons of EVOO so it doesn’t turn out dry
**Any dark leafy green would be fine in this recipe. This is just what I had on hand
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut off the tops of the squash and cut in half. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds and strings.
- Mist lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
- While squash is cooking, warm up your pan on medium. In a food processor, or by hand, finely chop onion, basil and kale.
- In a medium sized skillet, add in sausage and onion at the same time.
- Cook for 5 minutes then add in basil, sage, kale and garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- When 20 minutes are up, remove squash from the oven.
- Fill but don’t overflow with sausage and veggie mixture. (If you have any leftover, add to some rice or quinoa for an instant meal. Or save to mix with eggs in the morning.)
- Place back in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.