Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien Entrées & Sides Leave a Comment

This Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Squash makes for a delicious side to your holiday meal but can also stand alone as a delicious vegetarian main dish! The sweetness of the acorn squash and cranberries combines deliciously with the aromatic flavours of sage and thyme. Get your forks ready for a healthy feast!

I use ghee in this recipe, which is butter that has had the milk proteins removed. Since it’s the milk proteins in butter that can trigger an immune reaction and inflammation (not the delicious butter fat), ghee is appropriate for most people even if they have a dairy sensitivity. Ghee from grass-fed cows is a fabulous source of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D and K2. These vitamins are not found near to the same extent in grain-fed dairy products, therefore choosing grass or pasture-fed ghee is your best nutritional choice!

Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash makes for a delicious side to your holiday meal but can also stand alone as a delicious vegetarian main dish! The sweetness of the acorn squash and cranberries combines deliciously with the aromatic flavours of sage and thyme. Get your forks ready for a healthy feast!

Roasted stuffed acorn squash with wild rice and cranberries

I use ghee in this recipe, which is butter that has had the milk proteins removed. Since it’s the milk proteins in butter that can trigger an immune reaction and inflammation (not the delicious butter fat), ghee is appropriate for most people even if they have a dairy sensitivity. Ghee from grass-fed cows is a fabulous source of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D and K2. Don’t be surprised by the bright yellow colour of ghee and actually make sure this is something you look for when shopping!  Some varieties of ghee are bright yellow in colour, which is actually preferable to pale coloured ghee because it indicates the presence of beta carotene and other fat soluble vitamins.  These vitamins are not found to near the same extent in grain-fed dairy products.  Therefore, choosing grass or pasture-fed ghee is your best nutritional choice! Alternatively you can instead use avocado oil as another heart healthy and dairy-free option.

If desired you can replace the flaked almonds with other nuts like walnuts, pecans or pine nuts. Roasting these nuts for 5-10 minutes in a toaster oven (at 300°F) prior to adding them to the wild rice is optional to deepen their flavour. To make this recipe nut-free you may simply omit the flaked almonds or replace them with pumpkin or sesame seeds.  For an added holiday twist consider adding a half-cup of diced apple to the onion, leeks and celery while cooking.

When it comes to the acorn squash, select the smallest squash available from your local farmers market or grocery store. If you can only find large acorn squash (over 2-3lbs each) then you may want to bake only 2 squash to ensure you have enough wild rice stuffing (or double up the recipe when you make the filling).

How to cut and prepare an acorn squash for the oven:

Rinse the squash with water and pat dry. Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half vertically.

How to cut an acorn squash

Use a large spoon to scoop the seeds out from the cavity. You may either discard the seeds or save them to roast as a snack or salad topping. Cutting a flat surface on the rounded side of the squash (directly opposite to the inner cavity) allows the squash to sit flat while baking and prevents it from rolling side to side.

Removing the seeds from an acorn squash

While this recipe provides festive flair perfect for the holidays, the stuffed acorn squash also makes a delicious meal or packed lunch on any fall or winter’s day!

Happy holidays to you and your family! I wish you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season and an exceptional 2016!

If you enjoy this recipe please share the love!  You can click on the stars to leave a rating in the recipe card below.

Enjoy!





Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
This Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Squash makes for a delicious side to your holiday meal but can also stand alone as a delicious vegetarian main dish! The sweetness of the acorn squash and cranberries combines deliciously with the aromatic flavours of sage and thyme. Get your forks ready for a healthy feast!

Servings: 3 squash (6 halves, stuffed)
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or avocado oil
  2. 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 large leek, sliced (use the white & light green part only)
  4. ½ cup red onion, minced
  5. 4 stalks celery, diced
  6. 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  7. ½ tsp Herbamare or sea salt
  8. ½ tsp dried sage
  9. 1 tsp dried thyme
  10. ½ cup flaked almonds
  11. ½ cup died cranberries
  12. 2 cups cooked wild rice (yielded from approximately 2/3 cups dry rice)
  13. 3 small acorn squash, halved and deseeded
  14. Optional: 1/2 cup diced apple
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions using either water or broth.
  3. Prepare the acorn squash: Rinse the exterior of the squash and pat dry. Carefully cut the squash in half vertically using a sharp knife. Remove the seeds using a spoon and cut a flat edge into the opposite rounded side of the squash (skin side) to flatten its surface so it sits level on a baking dish. Bake the squash on a baking sheet or large baking dish at 400°F for 40 minutes or until softened and slightly browned.
  4. While the squash is baking: In a large skillet, warm the ghee or avocado oil over medium heat and then add the garlic, leek, red onion, celery and apple (optional addition). Add all of the seasonings and cook 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and add the wild rice, almonds and cranberries.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven once baked and spoon the wild rice and vegetable mixture into each rounded cavity. Serve immediately or bake another 5-10 minutes if the filling requires reheating. Optionally you may drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of melted ghee or avocado oil and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. Allergen info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Vegan
Healthy Life Redesign https://www.healthyliferedesign.com/

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Recipe created by:

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien

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Dr. Kimberley O'Brien is a Naturopathic Doctor with a medical practice in Nelson, BC. She is the founder of Healthy Life Redesign and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan online program. Her mission is to help you own your health and live a life you love!


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