Vegan Main: A Cooking Class Favorite
Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Dietitian at Nourish Northwest
What do meat-lovers serve as a show-stopping main course? Prime rib? Rack of lamb? It can be difficult to create a plant-based main course that is beautiful, delicious and worthy of a dinner party. After brainstorming ideas for our vegan cooking classes, we think we found just the thing: Stuffed Acorn Squash.
This main course is not only impressive, but it has all the requirements of a balanced, complete meal. It has rice and beans (protein and fiber), greens and vegetables (loads of nutrients), mushrooms (umami) and a dash of hot sauce (zing!), all served in an edible, nutrient-dense little squash (sweetness).
Grab the last of the winter acorn squashes and make this tonight! If you have a small squash, you may have leftover filling…great for lunch!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
(Adapted from thesimpleveganista.blogspot.com)
3 acorn squashes, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tsps thyme, divided
2 Tbs olive oil
Wild Rice Medley
1 cup rice brown or wild rice medley, dry
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs shallot (about 1 large), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 large handfuls greens chopped (Or use a 5 oz. combo package of baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach)
1 can cannellini or great northern beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Sriracha or hot sauce, to taste as garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Season each squash half with about 1/4 tsp thyme along with a sprinkle of sea salt. Rub in a drizzle of olive oil into each half.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes on a baking sheet, cut side down, until tender. Knife should easily slide into the flesh.
- Bring rice and 2 cups salted water to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 40-45 minutes.
- Once the squash and rice are cooked, set aside to cool and begin with the vegetables.
- In large sauté pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add shallots, garlic and bell peppers. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add beans, one tablespoon thyme, red pepper flakes, a few twists of salt and pepper, cook for another three minutes.
- Add leafy greens, stir frequently until they are wilted (you may also want to use a cover in between stirring to help soften the greens).
- Combine rice and sautéed vegetables in the larger of the two pots. Taste for seasoning adding additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Scoop mixture into each acorn squash half and serve with any additional seasonings.
- 10. Store leftovers in an air tight container in fridge for up to a week.