Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

I was re-reading my last post where I was throwing a fit over not being able to go on a fabulous vacation, and to be honest I feel like a huge jerk.   Obviously the zika virus has larger implications than dashed vacation hopes for yuppies, and obviously the Country is in huge turmoil with this election cycle and the way racial issues are surfacing with a fervor.  I shouldn’t really be complaining.  About anything, really, but definitely not about my vacay planz.

In my remorse, I recalled that my favorite memories with Sean aren’t necessary to the exotic places we go, anyway.  We had the BEST vacation recently in Destin, of all places, to celebrate our one year anniversary.

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Sean is kind of a die-hard romantic.  The kid picked me up from work before we left in a yellow convertible he rented.  We blasted Eric Church all the way through the Mississippi delta  to the Henderson Park Inn, and you would have thought it was our fifth date.

The Henderson Park Inn is not really somewhere I want to share with the world.  It’s this small, quiet bed &  breakfast (that is really more of a boutique hotel) right on the water.  We stayed there on our wedding night, and hope to return as often as possible  It’s one of those places where you don’t mind paying extra for the corner room, so you can sleep with your balcony doors wide open, curtains swaying in the breeze like something out of a movie.

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All that to say, we definitely don’t have to go to Costa Rica, or Greece, to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company after four months apart.  I should feel more thankful for the wonderful variety of climates that we have in this one country that present an endless amount of getaway choices.  And we have chosen:  we’re going to Palm Springs!

I can’t believe I didm’t think of it before!  I’ve wanted to go there ever since that double episode of Saved by the Bell where Jessie’s dad the hotel manager got married and Jessie flipped out and tried to drown her future stepmom (Jessie always was a bit of a psycho) and Zach and Kelly almost got back together and AC had a date wiss a reeel priiiiiieeencess.

Needless to say, I’m making plans.  Between that, trying to get 10,000 steps a day, mothering two dogs and trying to work and keep a house in order, I didn’t really have much time to cook this week.  I made exactly one meal, and it tasted amazing, but was NOT PRETTY. I’m all of a sudden self-concious about the attractiveness of my food, and its a little disturbing.

I fought the urge to re-do everything just for the sake of better photos. I felt like that would be giving in to the selfie culture I am trying to resist.  So, here is a fabulous fall dish that is quick and easy to prepare…it’s just not that photogenic 🙂

SAUSAGE & APPLE STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash, halved
  • 1lb ground turkey sausage
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • olive oil

LET’S COOK!

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.  Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  You might want to scoop out a little extra meat to make sure you have a nice hole for stuffing.  (Note:  the hole is bigger if you cut the squash in half longways.  I cut it “portrait style” because I think it looks like a heart, which is cute).
  2. Place the squash halves skin down in a glass baking dish that is filled with 1/4 of an inch of water.  Bake the squash for 40-50 minutes until you can stick your fork in it without much resistance.  (Bigger squash take more time, obviously).
  3. While the squash is baking, make the filling.  Heat a pan over medium and cook the sausage, breaking regularly with a spatula to crumble.  When the sausage is browned, remove to a plate with a paper towel on it to sop up excess fat.
  4. In the same pan, add 1 Tbs of olive oil to the sausage residue and sauté onions, mushrooms and apples together until soft, approximately 7 minutes.  Add kale, thyme, sage, salt and pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes.  Toss in a large bowl with the sausage and mix until combined.
  5. Once the squash is cooked, scoop the apple sausage mixture into the holes of the squash, allowing it to overflow slightly.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and place in oven for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

_dsc1457This is a really satisfying meal.  If you have cooked the squash properly you will be able to scrape it up with your fork and get a good hearty bite of squash with the apple and sausage mixture.  It comes apart kind of like a spaghetti squash, but it has this surprising, nutty texture!

 

 

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Lawyer, writer, food lover. Welcome to the right side of my brain!

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