Courtesy Eating Well magazine. Total time to table is 1.5 hours, but active time is 45 min. Makes 6 servings
This slightly spicy sausage filling adds interest and flavor to the sweet and creamy taste of the acorn squash. This could be changed to vegetarian by using cooked rice or tofu in place of the sausage. If using rice, cook the onions and peppers in olive oil first and add the rice(or other pasta) after the onions and peppers are cooked, but before adding the spices.
3 acorn squash (3/4-1 pound each)
5 ounces bulk turkey sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several dashes hot red pepper sauce, to taste
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add turkey sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325°. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.