If you have neglected yourself, make a sincere apology to thee. Gather the "love-me-not-petals" of your life and start counting "I-must-love-me-too". In no time at all you have a beautiful flower blossom within you. ~ Dodinsky Writings
Monday, November 8, 2010
Gluten Free Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed w/ Cornbread Dressing
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe
Pick deep green same-sized acorn squash. Figure on half a medium squash per person.
Crank the oven to 400 degrees F.
Carefully slice the acorn squash in half, lengthwise. Clean out the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash in a broiler or roasting pan. If any of the squash is tippy, slice a thin piece off the bottom to make it sit still.
Pour some water into the pan- you'll need a good inch or two (this helps keep the squash from scorching/sticking to the pan). Drizzle the squash with fruity olive oil and some pure maple syrup until it collects in the hollow. Season with sea salt.
Place the pan into the preheated oven.
Roast the squash until it is fork tender. Easy, right? And delicious.
Serve as is- or...
Pour off the maple syrup into a measuring cup; stuff the squash with my cornbread dressing; pour the maple syrup on top and re-bake it till heated through (my Cornbread Stuffing with Curried Apple & Cranberries follows). Voila! A vegan holiday entree.
Cornbread Stuffing Recipe with Curried Apples and Cranberries
If you're not a fan of cornbread or need to be corn-free, don't fret. This recipe works with any gluten-free bread, cubed and lightly toasted. I've made this recipe vegan- without eggs or dairy- but if you prefer a more traditional recipe, see omnivore-friendly notes below.
Start by making a pan of your favorite gluten-free vegan cornbread. Here's one of my recipes for a delicious cornbread http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2007/12/skillet-cornbread-with-green-chiles.html
Plan on making an 8-inch square or 9-inch round cornbread two to three days ahead; cut it up into 5 or 6 squares and freeze.
Before making your stuffing, allow the cornbread to thaw a little bit. Cut the squares into cubes before it's totally defrosted. This makes for easier slicing and it will crumble much less.
To start the dressing:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Toast the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes or so. Keep an eye on them so they don't get too browned. When they're nicely toasted remove the baking sheet from the oven, set aside and allow the cubes to cool.
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste- or use melted vegan butter, if you prefer
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced sweet or purple onion
2 large Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1-2 teaspoons mild gluten-free curry powder, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh chopped cranberries
1 cup light vegetable broth- more, as needed
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large deep skillet, stir in the thyme, curry and cinnamon; add the celery, onion and apples; cook until softened. Remove the skillet from the burner and set aside to cool a bit.
Add in the chopped cranberries.
Stir in the toasted cornbread. Mix well. Add a little more olive oil, and the broth, pouring in a little at a time and gently stirring to combine. Add the maple syrup. Stir. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Some folks like a very soft dressing- if you are one of these, feel free to add more broth.
Use for stuffing roasted acorn squash (see above for roasting squash).
Dear Reader, if you happen to be a turkey loving omnivore- grab your spoon and stuff away.
Or bake the stuffing as a side dish in a casserole.
For the casserole- spoon the stuffing into a baking dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees F till heated through- about 20 to 25 minutes (note: it will take a bit longer to heat through if you made the stuffing ahead of time and chilled it).
Serve as a side dish for vegetarian fare.
How many will it feed? Depending upon the size of your squash- and appetites- 6 to 8. Recipe can be doubled.