Who’s excited for fall?! It’s my favorite season, especially in New York City with its brightly coloured trees and crisp air.
Last night was day light savings — time to fall back. I use the time change every year as a reminder to myself to change the way I eat to match the seasons. It’s so easy to get into a food rut towards the end of a season, so always good to have a trigger to change it up. I was still living on salads and light proteins, so decided to transition into a more hearty, rooted diet.
Enter my stuff squash project.
I ordered a dumpling squash from Fresh Direct. I had originally wanted an acorn squash, but they were out so I decided to experiment. I then created a mushroom-tempeh stuffing reminiscent of Thanksgiving and sprinked it all with a bit of Roquefort cheese. Served with braised collard greens, it was the perfect mid-fall meal. Winter squashes are sweet vegetables–which make them good for sweet cravings (which I’ve been having)–and they’re also very grounding, which we all need this time of year.
I totally improvised this recipe as I went along, so feel free to experiment!
STUFFED WINTER SQUASH
1 winter squash of your choice
2 c mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
6 oz tempeh (half a block), cut into 1/4-1/2 in cubes
salt and pepper
1/4 c white wine (optional
1/8 c Roquefort cheese (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 345 degrees. Cut squash in half and remove any seeds. Rub lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake cut side down for 40-45 minutes. (This will vary on the size and type of your squash–Keep checking it to see when the flesh is very tender).
While this is baking, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add wine, if desired, and cook down for approx. 3 more minutes. Add a bit of salt, pepper, and dried rosemary and cook 1 more minute. Put into bowl and set aside.
Add more olive oil to pan and saute tempeh until crispy and browned. (The smaller the pieces, the crispier they’ll get).
Once squash is very tender, remove from oven, add stuffing to the middle and serve immediately. Sprinkle the roquefort cheese if desired.
Serves at least 2, depending on the type of squash. This stuffing will be a generous serving for 2 people.