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Slice it, Stuff it, Top it, Eat it

October 22, 2009
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What’s better than a recipe? Michael Ruhlman, author of the book Ratio, knows the answer. What’s better than a recipe is the formula for a recipe! Once you know the formula, the world is your oyster. Or, pumpkin, as the case may be.

This recipe came to me because I already had the formula. I was driving to pick up my CSA share and wasn’t sure what to expect this week except I figured some kind of squash. And with any squash, a good place to start is slicing it in half and roasting it.


As I turned off Mass Ave in Cambridge, I decided I’d roast my squash, toast the seeds, and create some kind of filling and sauce based on whatever else I got in my share. Voila! No recipe, just a formula. So the next time you are figuring out what to make while you’re driving, remember this: Slice it. Stuff it. Top it. Eat it.

Catchy, isn’t it?

Are you guys sick of squash yet? I hope not, the winter has just barely begun. I promise to keep bringing you new ideas to use your lovely winter candy, as I like to think of them. After all, they’re sweet, colorful and perfect for Halloween.

Which brings me to my next point. Please, can we invent a way to celebrate a holiday that DOESN’T include feeding our bodies garbage? What kind of message do we create when we celebrate around things that poison our body? Counter-intuitive if you ask me.

This is why I’ve announced a new teleseminar called Healthy Holidays and How To Have ‘Em. Trust me, you don’t want to go through another season without some new tools under your belt for staying happy and healthy. Let’s support each other to stay well and really, TRULY celebrate. Sign up now!

Oh, and of course, the Stuffed Squash Recipe Formula:

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and slice your squash in half. Remove seeds. Pumpkin works well, acorn squash would be my next best bet. (Seeds can be toasted for step #4 or used for something else. But, heavens, don’t throw them away!) Place squash skin side up in a roasting pan with about 1/4″ water and cover with foil. Roast for about 40 minutes, until skin is soft. I believe in eating the skin too!

Step 2
While squash cooks, create a filling. I used toasted quinoa, caramelized onions, apples and red kale. You could use another grain like millet, or a finely chopped vegetable medley. Go crazy.

Step 3
How ’bout some kind of sauce? This is optional, but well worth the effort. I used tahini, lemon juice, parsley and olive oil. You could use a salad dressing, pesto, or gravy. And don’t forget about toasting those seeds! That’s a perfect way to top your squash, but you might try toasted nuts or a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Step 4
Assemble and take pictures. No, wait, that’s just me. Most of you can skip the photography session and get down to business! I think this makes a perfect meatless meal, especially when you are getting plenty of protein from a grain like quinoa. And the presentation really impresses, even without a slab of beef on the side.I say this because I just challenged my small group to Meatless Mondays – send good, meatless wishes their way! Go team! That said, feel free to include meat in your stuffing if you so desire. You don’t have to go to Burger King to have it your way.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.

  • Diane

    I love this recipe/idea! I ‘m totally going to do this after my market trip this weekend. Maybe I’ll blog about mine too :) Yum!

  • frank jones
  • simpledaisy

    Yummy and right up my alley:)
    Have a happy weekend!

  • dailydiner

    I love it. “Find Your Formula”. As any avid cook, thats what we do, right? I just never had a name for it…formula. thats great. And I love this formula.

  • Skylor

    I am absolutely making this for Thanksgiving. Yum!

  • Michelle (What’s Cooking)

    Hi Michelle – Love that we had a Michelle-Mind-Meld on the pumpkin posts! (Mine was the one over at Boston Mamas) Thanks for the comment and for sharing your recipe too. Yum!

  • Heather

    Wow, this looks delicious! I can never, ever tire of squash :)

  • michaela

    hey michelle! i got some red and black quinoa in the bulk section of our local co-op the other day. i’ve never cooked black quinoa before and it said to soak it first for 8 hours. have you heard of that? i normally just rinse the regular quinoa.

  • Michelle

    @Diane – Please leave a link to your post if you do!

    @frank – er…thanks? haha

    @simpledaisy – thanks! you too!

    @DailyDiner – Have you read Ratio? you’ll love it.

    @Skylor – Let me know how you stuff and top. I love how creative this can get!

    @Michelle – thanks for coming by! You have some great stuff on your site!

    @Heather – hehe me either :-) Hope you get to try it soon!

    @Michaela – hmmm. you know, I’ve seen red but never black quinoa. that’s cool! i soak all of my grains except quinoa, which i just rinse. but maybe the black kind needs it…I will have to check into that. And in the meantime, where do you have such a great co-op that sells this variety?? Awesome!

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for the inspiration, Michelle.

    I just made my own version tonight and it was incredible!! Acorn squash stuffed with red and white quinoa with dulse, spinach, carmelized onions with a little sauteed tofu and black beans…and topped with the toasted seeds (toasted in cinnamon) and some crumbled goat cheese.

    I even took pictures it was so pretty :)

    thanks again,

  • michaela

    hi michelle-i found it at a great co-op in seattle, where i live now. i’m originally from scituate.

  • Erica

    Sick of squash? Never. Loving stuffed squash so much right now (its on the menu plan again this week) and I also really enjoy utilizing the seeds as well. I’m SO with you on the nasty holiday foods. Enjoy your weekend

  • Sweta

    I haven’t started cooking with squash yet,but I have it on my shopping list. I guess I’m going to start with something we are familiar with (a squash sambar perhaps). After that maybe I’ll start experimenting with it-it’s going to be a long winter :)

  • Jennifer

    This looks like a deeeeliciously satisfying dish. I just woke up and wish I could eat this right now!!

  • sophia

    This is the ultimate sign. I’ve been debating whether to make my next recipe a stuffed winter squash, and seeing your beautiful dish confirmed it. yay!

  • Alex

    You, my friend, are squash crazy.

    Luckily, so am I :) I love neat little complete meals like this where you can say, “Look ma, I even ate the bowl!”

    And you are very wise to point out the irony of poisoning ourselves during such a joyous, celebratory occasion. I totally, totally agree with you.

  • Juliana

    Oh! Like the way that you cook the squash…will give it a try :-)

  • vered | blogger for hire

    It looks delicious. No, not sick of squash at all! (yet..)

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