The holidays are a magical time of year, filled with traditions, family, and elaborate meals. However, it’s also the time of year that most people throw their hard-earned healthy habits out the window. With candies, cookies, and cakes galore everywhere we go, it’s difficult to stay on track with our healthy lifestyles. Thankfully, filling our holiday meals with delicious, yet quality dishes such as this portobello stuffed acorn squash can help us to feel satisfied while making healthy choices!
I’ve always struggled with making good choices during the last few months of the year. Growing up, we ate a standard American diet, which helped form all of my holiday traditions and habits. Caramel apples in September, Halloween candy in October, pies in November, and Christmas cookies in December. It seems there’s no end to the junk food this time of year!
Once I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2015, and then chronic Lyme in 2016, I faced a tough decision; change my lifestyle completely and work toward healing, or I could stay sick and keep my junk food. I chose healing.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t still miss some of that junk food… after all, it brings me back to warm childhood memories. But I’ve found that saying “nothing tastes as good as healthy feels” is completely accurate.
However, giving up junk food doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy good, flavorful meals. I was so intimidated when I began cooking meals that were healthy, because they seemed to be so complex. It wasn’t until I started making my own recipes that I realized healthy recipes could also be simple.
That’s why I decided to make a holiday cookbook with easy, healthy recipes in it. Why spend more time in the kitchen than you need to? I’d rather be spending it with family. This stuffed acorn squash is from my new e-cookbook, Healthy Holidays. It’s perfect for a big family meal, has a wonderful fall flavor, and isn’t difficult to make.
Portobello Stuffed Acorn Squash
Filling our holiday meals with delicious, yet quality dishes such as this portobello stuffed acorn squash can help us to feel satisfied while making healthy choices this holiday season!
- 3 acorn squash cut in half and seeds removed
- 3 T. avocado oil divided
- 3-4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1½ lbs. Portobello mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 T. fresh sage finely chopped
- ¼ c. dry red wine
- 1/3 c. dates roughly chopped
- ¼ c. pecans chopped
- ¼ c. walnuts chopped
- 2 tsp truffle salt
- Black pepper to taste
Position oven rack to center position, then preheat oven to 400°F. Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds.
Place the acorn squash halves cut side up in prepared baking dish and brush cut edges with one tablespoon avocado oil. Pierce with a fork all over the flesh. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Place baking dish on center rack in pre-heated oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.
In the meantime, heat the remaining avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and onion and cook until translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.
Next, add chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, approximately 4-5 minutes.
Add pecans, fresh sage, and red wine into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped dates and toasted walnuts. Season with truffle salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
When ready, remove cooked squash from oven and cool slightly before filling each half with the Portobello mushroom mixture.
Tip: Acorn squash seeds can be seasoned and toasted, just like pumpkin seeds. Reserve the seeds while preparing this recipe to enjoy as a healthy snack later.
If you want to make this meal as a main dish, you can add quinoa or even ground beef to the filling for additional protein and calories.
This portobello stuffed acorn squash is a fantastic way to add a healthier dish to your holiday menu. It’s even gluten free and vegan, so it should please even the pickiest (or most health-conscious) of your friends and family.
What is your favorite healthy holiday dish?