I can hardly concentrate on anything else.
At the time I write this, my dear friend Kaci is six centimeters dilated and getting ready to deliver her first baby, Alexandra.
Needless to say, approximately 1.2 million prayers have gone up for her, Justin, and Alexandra today. In a matter of hours, they should be holding their new little bundle ‘o love. *Smile*. There is nothing in this world better than holding a newborn baby. And that's all I gotsta say about that.
This post does have a point. (Although, let's face it, many times the point of my post is to talk about babies).
However. This is not one of those posts.
The point of this post is food. Another favorite topic of mine.
Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash, to be exact.
Prior to making this recipe, I'd never eaten an acorn squash before. And man, oh man, oh man. Why have I waited so long! They aren't as “squashy” as other squash…it resembled almost a sweet potato or yam in texture. Needless to say, when roasted and stuffed with dried fruit and bacon infused couscous, it was delicious.
Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash – For your fall, squash roasting pleasure. This recipe will make enough stuffed squash for 6-8 servings. Feel free to half it. You're a free bird, remember?
– 4 carrots, minced into teeny-tiny pieces
– 4 ribs celery, minced into teeny-tiny pieces
– 2 shallot, minced into…okay, you get it by now
– 4 cloves garlic, smooshed & minced
– 4 tablespoons butter
– 3 tablespoons ground cumin (fresh ground is best!)
– 1 1/2 cup dried fruit of choice (raisins, diced apricots, diced cherries…)
– 28 ounces chicken broth
– 2 cup uncooked couscous or quinoa
– Salt and pepper, baby
– 1/2 pound bacon (nitrate-free!), minced and fried until nice and crispy!
Step One: Cut the squash (carefully!) in half. Remove the seeds. Lay the squash flesh side down on a baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Then remove the squash, flip 'em (carefully, I said!) over. Put a tablespoon of butter into each squash half. Then, using the back of a spoon, gently smear the butter around. Yum. Then, sprinkle a tablespoon of rapadura over each squash half.
Step Two: While the squash is roasting, get started on the pilaf! Melt the butter into a skillet. Then, add in your shallot, carrot, celery, and garlic. Slowly cook on a low temperature until they are nice and soft.
Step Three: Stir in your cumin, chicken broth, and salt & pepper.
Step Three: Finally, stir in your couscous or quinoa. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, or until the couscous or quinoa is tender.
Step Four: Lastly, stir in your dried fruit and cooked, crispy bacon bits. Oh yum. Oh yum, yum, yum.
Taste it. Does it need anything? A squeeze of lemon juice? Some fresh mint or cilantro? Some more salt?
Step Five: Once your happy with the pilaf, spoon it generously into the acorn squash halves. Serve & enjoy!
This dish was such a pleasant surprise. Not only did it boast an earthy richness from the healthy squash, but it also had the nice sweetness from the dried fruit and the saltiness from the bacon. That's a lethal combination if there ever was one…
Unfortunately, I was so excited to eat the squash, that I almost forgot to take a picture of it. These are my half-hearted attempts to capture the beautiful squash before it was ravenously consumed. What can I say? We had company. We were hungry. We ate!
In any case, I assure you, these delicious roasted treats are worth your time.
Update as of this morning: Alexandra Elizabeth was born healthy and happy last night! Praise God for his goodness!
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.