Every grocery store in my neighborhood is running specials on a variety of squash right now, which presents a great opportunity to incorporate it into my cooking and capitalize on the wonderful health benefits that these gourdy little friends provide.
It doesn't have to be anything complicated--vegetables shine in a simple environment. Of course there are plenty of wonderful things you can do with vegetables that end up being something close to a work of culinary art, but with the right spices and combination your dish can be equally as impressive.
This dish has a few ingredients that I want to focus on. In the cous cous, I used turmeric, ground mustard and curry powder. Turmeric is one of nature's most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and it's been used for over 2500 years in India.
Here's a list detailing 20 reasons to incorporate turmeric into your diet and into your cooking (besides the fact that it adds tons of flavor!) I think the research behind turmeric in helping to prevent and treat different forms of cancer is fascinating and definitely worth looking in to more!
Curry spice also contains curcumin and has been identified as having many of the same healing properties as turmeric and is absolutely one of my favorite flavors in Indian and southeast Asian cooking.
One cup of acorn squash contains 145% of the daily recommended requirements for Vitamin A! It also has a ton of Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, folate (folic acid), and 15% of the omega three fatty acids necessary to good health. It's also a great source of fiber!
Check my next post and I'll go into more detail about protein and how I've come to know it since becoming a vegetarian!
*hint: the lentil/grain combination in this dish is nearly a complete protein, meaning it's missing only a few of the essential amino acids you need from protein. To be continued....
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Israeli Cous Cous
- 1 Acorn Squash
- 1 package steamed lentils
- 1 package Israeli Cous Cous
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 bunch fresh spinach (Lightly chopped)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- 1.5 tsp ground mustard
- 2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
Prepare cous cous according to package instructions. I usually buy the Trader Joe's brand which calls for you to lightly toast the cous cous before hand. When it's almost done cooking, stir in your turmeric, curry powder and mustard and 1 tablespoon of your Braggs Liquid Aminos. Let it cook for a few minutes longer and add half the package ( about 1.5 cups) of the lentils.
Stir the ingredients together and add your mushrooms. Add about half of your fresh spinach on top and let it wilt. Remove from heat.
Acorn squash can be cooked in different ways, and as much as I love taking the time to slice it open (they can be tough to slice through) and roast it in the oven, I decided just to microwave this one. Pierce the squash in a few different places with your fork and microwave for about 7 minutes. When it's finished (be careful, it's hot) slice it in half length-wise and remove the seeds.
On a plate, have the rest of your spinach and cherry tomatoes anxiously awaiting the arrival its squash centerpiece. Place the squash and fill with about half a cup of the cous cous-lentil mixture in each half. Lightly sprinkle the rest of your Braggs over each half.
Tip: Before adding the cous cous, I like to use my fork to scrape the insides of the squash a little bit to make the meat squishy so it's easier to mix with my stuffing while I'm enjoying it.
I hope you enjoy :)