Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash
Source: Sam Turnbull • It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, Better Vegan  Category: Vegan Entrees & Sides
Prep Time: 30 min  Cook time: 1 hr 30 min  Total Time: 2 hrs  Serves 4-6
About this recipe
This is a perfect vegan main dish for any holiday or when you want to eat something stuffed. Wild rice combined with cranberries and sage give the stuffing this special holiday flavor that everybody loves. Cooking the rice ahead of time ensures that every component of the stuffing is perfectly done and that the vegetables are not overcooked and still have all their nutrients and flavor. Keeping the stuffing light without adding any proteins like nuts ensures proper food paring, which means easier digestion for your body of the big holiday meal.
Ingredients:

For the butternut squash:

1 butternut squash

1 Tbsp. coconut or avocado oil (I use Kirkland Signature Cold Pressed Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil or La Tourangelle Avocado Oil )

Pink Himalayan salt (I use Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt, 5 lbs Fine Grain)

Black pepper

For the stuffing:

1 Tbsp. coconut or avocado oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup Countrywild rice mix or 1/2 cup wild rice and 1/2 long grain brown rice, soaked overnight, drained, rinsed and cooked (I use Lundberg Family Farms Country Wild Rice)

1/2 cup dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened (try UNSWEETENED 1 lb. Low Moisture Dried Cranberries)

1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped

1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

3+ drops liquid stevia (optional - see notes) (I use NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the ingredients.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

 

3. To make the butternut squash: Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then put both halves on a baking tray, cut side up. Brush with oil on top of each squash and around to coat. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until the squash is cooked and fork tender. The timing may vary a bit depending on the size of your squash. Be careful not to overcook the squash as it will still bake more when assembled and heated later on.

4. Once baked, remove the squash from the oven. Let it cool enough so that you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh in the center of both squash halves, leaving about a 1-inch border all around. You can score a line with the tip of the spoon 1-inch from the edges before scooping so you have a guide to follow. Set aside the scooped-out squash flesh and chop it up.

5. To make the stuffing: In the meantime, when the squash is baking, you can prepare the stuffing. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot sauté the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic until the veggies soften and begin to brown. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the cooked rice to the pan, give it a stir, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add dried cranberries, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. When ready, add in the scooped out and chopped squash flesh. Stir well to combine.

7. To stuff the squash: Pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. Place both halves on a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until hot all the way through. Sprinkle with chopped sage and serve.

Notes:
If using unsweetened cranberries, add 3-4 drops of stevia (or to taste) to achieve the desired sweetness.
 
Can be made up to 3 days ahead and warmed up before serving.
Equipment needed:
Serving suggestion:

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