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I Made It!

December 11, 2011

It’s been a while since I made anything new, but this time I made:

Bulgur Stuffed Acorn Squash

Bulgur-stuffed acorn squash. It’s pretty simple, actually, and if you find some seitan-based alternative to hot Italian sausage it can even be vegan.

Start with three smallish acorn squashes; halve them and scoop out the seeds and as much of the fibrous gunk inside as you can with a spoon, and without carving up the flesh of the squash. Place them cut-side down on a baking pan that has sides (like a jelly roll pan). It can’t be open at the corners, because you’re going to add two cups of water to the pan. I think a 15-by-10 pan should handle it, but use the largest that will fit into your oven; the first time around you might err on the side of buying your squash too small just in case. You also don’t want to press them too tightly down on the pan, or when the water heats and cools it will collapse the squash like a suction cup; it won’t ruin anything but it won’t look as nice. Anyway, heat an oven to 400ºF and put the squash in for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil some water. Put three quarters of a cup of bulgur wheat in a bowl and add as much boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and let it steep to soften the grain for half an hour.

While you wait for both of those, dice up a small red bell pepper and remove the casings from the sausage. If you’re not using real Italian sausage, the material (chicken, seitan, whatever) is probably ground much finer and pressed into shape rather than held with a casing; you’ll want to cut the sausages into quarters (or smaller) lengthwise and then slice thinly, since the material won’t fall apart like a real Italian sausage will.

Anyway, once the bulgur is softened, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook it for two minutes. Stir in half a teaspoon of garlic powder and the diced red pepper and cook for another three minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the bulgur, two tablespoons of sriracha or another chili sauce, and a good pinch of salt.

Remove the squash from the oven, pour off the water, and flip them over. Brush the open halves with maple syrup, about a teaspoon each, and sprinkle with a little salt. Fill the cups with the bulgur mixture — I find a silicone “spoonula” is great for this — and stick them back in the oven for another ten minutes.

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