Xandra’s Thanksgiving Squash Boats

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.  Ours was full of love and light and time shared with family and friends.  When planning what to cook to bring with us for our Thanksgiving celebration, I knew three things – I wanted a healthy option that I knew we could eat (we’re vegetarian), I wanted everyone, vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike to enjoy it, and I had tons of squash!

I went in search of squash recipes, and the one that we picked quickly transformed into something new once I was in the kitchen with my mom putting it together.  I found the original recipe on http://vegweb.com, but I took some ingredients out and added many new ones to create this hearty dish that can feed a large party, or a few small parties plus some leftovers.

I doubled the original recipe which serves 2-4 and I made a “mistake” which turned out really well when adding the grains so my doubled recipe served probably about 15-20 as a side dish.  You could easily half the recipe or use less quinoa and brown rice than I did if you wanted to make a smaller portion.

So here’s my recipe for Xandra’s Thanksgiving Squash Boats

What to Use:

2 butternut squash, halved and deseeded

2 delectica squash, halved and seeded

olive oil, as needed

1 cup (dry) quinoa, rinsed

½ cup (dry) brown rice

½ cup (dry) lentils, rinsed

4 cups vegetable stock (split 2 cups, and 1 1/2 cups, plus extra as needed)

1 zucchini, sliced

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 box firm organic tofu

1 bunch kale, ripped or cut into small pieces

1 bunch rainbow chard, ripped or cut into small pieces

salt and pepper to taste

What to Do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put some olive oil on a pan and roast the butternut and delectica squash cut sides down for about 40 minutes or until done (the squash should be soft enough that you can scoop it out of the shell easily).

Once you get the squash in the oven, start cooking the grains and lentils.  You can alter the amounts here to help get the number of servings that you like.

Cook quinoa with 2 cups of vegetable stock (about 20 minutes).  Combine the rice and lentils with about 1 ½ cups of stock (about 30 minutes).  Read labels for cooking time and instructions as this varies.  Tasting is the best way to know when it’s done.  Also keep an eye on the water level, and add more if the cooking is not done but the liquid has cooked off.

While the squash, grains, and beans are cooking, sauté the onion, zucchini and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the crumbled tofu into the pan with the veggies.  Add the greens and cook until they begin to wilt.

At this point you can turn the heat to low on the veggies while you finish cooking/ prepping the squash and grains.

Peel and cut up the delectica squash and mix into the veggies.  Scoop out the butternut squash, being careful not to rip the outer shells.

Add squash to veggie mixture. Combine the grains and lentils with the veggie mixture until well combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste, or allow everyone to do this for themselves at the table. The dish is hearty and flavorful on its own.

For presentation, place empty squash halves on a serving dish and scoop the mixture back into the halves, piling high.  If you use as much grains as I did, you will likely have some leftovers already – put them in a dish and store for a later meal (or to send home with guests).

Serve hot and enjoy!

Serves: 15-20 as a side

Preparation time: About 1 hour

This was a hit, and will definitely be a recipe that I make many times in the future.  Full of seasonal veggies and healthful whole grains, it’s a great way to fill up on Thanksgiving, or at any other event.

If you decide to try it out, please leave a comment on the blog and let me know what you thought.

I’d also love to hear what recipes you’ve created when browsing for something to make.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

Xandra

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