This post was written by my foodie sister Robin, who is now sharing all of her favorite recipes and kitchen tips regularly on the new “Make It and Love It – in the KITCHEN” portion of this blog. Try a few of her recipes…your belly will thank you! -Ashley
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Okay guys, I know the acorn squash is not a very popular produce item. It sits around the grocery store, hardly being touched. It doesn’t draw a crowd like the tomato or the onion (and the onion even smells funny but draws a bigger crowd….what’s up with that?!!). Maybe we should give the acorn squash a few one-liners in order get the conversation going, because, come on — he’s actually pretty tasty!
Haha. But really, sometimes it’s nice to try a different veggie on the table, rather than the standard broccoli/peas/salad/etc. Don’t you get tired of those? I do.
Okay, so next time you’re at the grocery store, grab one of those lonely acorn squash, cook it up, and then add some delicious filling inside. Healthy AND packed with flavor. Yum.
This recipe is actually something my dad made growing up and we ate it quite a bit. Especially during the huge Fat Free craze back in the 90’s. Were you in on that? So we always made this with fat free cottage cheese…..as a delicious way to replace butter. However, I no longer use fat free cottage cheese, because, well, don’t mess with my cheeses. :)
But I promise — you won’t miss the standard buttering of your squash, once you try this little mixture. Cheesy, a hint of sweet, and savory. Yum. A perfect combination for the overlooked squash.
And hey, only 4 ingredients and 10-15 minutes of your time (most of which is just waiting for the squash to cook) — this side dish will become your new favorite!
Ready to stuff your squash??
First, you want to cut the acorn in half, cutting from the stem to the tip, and through to the other side.
The fastest way to cook your squash is in the microwave. Yes, you can always bake it, but I have found the the taste and texture is about the same in the microwave…..and so much faster. In fact, it tastes as if it has been steamed, but only better because the flavor of the squash is retained. So, I choose the microwave method every time.
So, place the squash halves face down on a glass dish and microwave them for 10-15 minutes depending on the size. (They’re done when softened and the meat is easily pulled apart with a fork.)
While the squash is cooking, it’s time to prepare the filling.
Grab a smallish bowl and dump in 1 cup of cottage cheese. Slice the onions and add them to the cottage cheese. (I actually like to use 3 stalks because I really like green onion but you may just want to use 2 for now and see how you like it. Then, if you can go for more, chop up the third and add it in.)
Then, dump the can of pineapple into a colander and let the excess juice drain out. It still has some juices in it but don’t squeeze it out just yet. Scoop up ½ cup of the pineapple and dump it into your hand. Then squeeze out the rest of the excess juice with your hand, as best you can, or your filling will be too wet.
Add the pineapple to your bowl. Then mix the three ingredients together. Your squash is probably still cooking in the microwave, so you can go do something else right now– flip through a magazine, check your email, put your feet up, whatever you want… :)
OK your microwave beeped and your squash is ready! Now, you can fill your squash with the filling and slice and serve — OR — if you want to be a little fancy, you can brush the meat of the squash with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and put it on the grill to get some grill marks and add a little bit of a grilled flavor.
Place directly onto the grill, face down, on medium high heat. All it takes is 2-3 minutes or until you have some nice grill marks and a bit of charred flavor.
Now, you you can keep them plain and skip the grilling but I wanted this acorn squash to be fancy for you all because, again, this guy needs a popularity boost. :)
Now, place your filling inside the pit of each half and slice lengthwise in wedges.
And that’s it. A great side dish, when you need a quick vegetable on the table.
Stuffed Acorn Squash — Recipe Card
Cut the Acorn squash in half. Scrape out the seeds and pit. Place acorn squash flat side down in a glass dish and microwave uncovered for 10-15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine chopped green onions, drained crushed pineapple, and cottage cheese. When the acorn squash has finished cooking (is soft and can be separated easily with a fork), brush the meat with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place face down on the grill for 5 minutes until it has grill marks. Place cottage cheese mixture in the pits of the acorn. Cut lengthwise in wedges and serve.