Modern day squash developed from the wild squash which originated in the areas between Guatemala and Mexico. Squash has been consumed for over 10,000 years but it was originally cultivated for its seeds, as the flesh was scant and bitter. Squash cultivation spread throughout North and South America, and varieties with better tasting flesh was developed. Christopher Columbus brought the vegetable to the New World, where it was then introduced to the rest of the world via Spanish explorers.
Winter squash was so important in the diet of Native Americans that it was buried with their dead to provide them nourishment in their journey to the afterlife. Winter squash is available from August through March, but they are in season October to November.
Liberty Market has some very nice Acorn squash right now, organic and non-GMO; they also have brown rice, sea salt, onions, olive oil, celery, nuts and spices, all organic and non-GMO. You might want to try this recipe for one of your New Year’s holiday meals. There are a multitude of ingredients but it is actually quick and easy to assemble.
Fancy vegan acorn squash
- 4 acorn squash, halved lengthwise; don’t discard seeds (see note)
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1/2 cup brown or white rice
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried figs or other suitable fruit, diced
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon each ground black pepper, ground cardamom and ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Cook both kinds of rice together in broth or water with ¼ teaspoon of salt (leave out the salt if the broth is already salted).
Put the squash halves cut side down on a large shallow baking dish or cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or put squash and 1/4 water in a microwavable dish, coer, and microwave for 4 or 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute onion in olive oil until it becomes transparent. Put this mixture in a large mixing bowl and add the cooked rice, raisins, nuts, figs, and remaining seasonings.
After the half hour is up, remove the partially baked squash from the oven. Spoon out a little of the cooked squash and mix it with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl (only scrape out a little, you need to leave a lining of squash in the shells).
Press the rice mixture into each squash cavity, mounding it up as much as you can. Cover with foil and bake for a half hour or until squash flesh is thoroughly tender.
Toast the seeds!
Rinse the seeds and pat dry. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and spread the seeds evenly on the sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt or any other favorite seasoning (or not). Bake the seeds at 375º F. for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. You can sprinkle a few seeds on top of the baked squash if you like.
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