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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Rice
with spinach salad

Active: 25 min Total: 1 hr
This satisfying vegetarian main dish can be assembled ahead of time and finished in the oven before serving.
Smarts: If you still have leftover turkey or any other leftover protein, chop it and fold it into the filling for extra substance.


Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Rice:
  • Beans, black (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Acorn squash, medium - 2 , halved
  • Foil - for cooking
  • Salsa, store-bought - 1/2 cup
  • Cooked rice (leftover from Tuesday) - 1 1/2 cups
  • Cheese, any shredded blend - 1 cup + 2 Tbsp
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - for serving
Spinach Salad with Oranges and Avocados:
  • Oranges - 1 , segments
  • Avocados - 1 , chopped
  • Mustard, dijon - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
  • Baby spinach - 4 oz
  • Almonds, sliced - 1 oz


  1. Beans - Drain and rinse.

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  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
  2. While oven is heating, prepare squash for roasting. Slice 1/2" / 1.3cm off the stem and base (this will create an even surface so the squash halves won't roll around as they roast). Slice the squash in half midway between the stem and base. Scoop out and discard seeds (an ice cream scoop works great for this).
  3. (If you are short on time, microwave the squash halves until very tender and skip ahead to Make Step #5.) Place squash, cut-side down in a large baking dish. Fill dish with a thin layer of water ~1/4" / .6cm deep. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the squash is very tender and can be pierced easily with a fork, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. While squash roasts, combine rice, beans, salsa and first part of cheese. Taste and season with some salt.
  5. When squash is tender, remove foil and drain water out of pan. Turn squash halves over so they form bowls. Season the inside of the squash lightly with some salt. Spoon rice filling into the “bowls” (press it in tightly or mound it over top; if you have extra, warm it in the microwave and serve it on the side). Top with second part of cheese.
  6. Return squash to the oven and continue roasting, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot, ~15 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, segment oranges and chop avocados. Whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking.
  8. Just before serving, toss spinach, oranges and avocados with vinaigrette (start with half and add more until the salad is dressed to your liking). Top with almonds.
  9. Serve squash (don’t eat the peels) with yogurt and some extra salsa if you'd like. Enjoy with salad.



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