If your aunt shows up to Thanksgiving this year after watching the new Netflix documentary “Game Changers’“, you best believe she will be excited about seeing this on your table. Savory sautéed vegetables mixed with hearty lentils and sweet cranberries, all stuffed into a sweet butternut squash.
1 butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
For the stuffing:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh sage/ chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts *
1 tbsp honey
2 cups cooked lentils or rice (I cooked mine in vegetable broth for more flavor)
Preheat your oven to 400F.
To make the butternut squash: Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Rub olive oil on the inside of the squash as well as the skin so that all surfaces are covered. Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the squash is cooked and you can slide a fork into the skin fairly easily. Be careful not to overcook it because it will be bake more later on.
Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool down until you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh in the center of both squash halves, leaving about 1.5 inch border all around. Set aside the scooped out squash flesh and chop it up.
To make the stuffing: While the squash is baking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. When hot, sauté the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, until the veggies soften and begin to brown. Add the cooked lentils, chopped squash, honey, cranberries, and walnuts and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
To stuff the squash: Pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. Pick up one squash half and flip it on top of the other. Using kitchen twine or string, tie up the squash in about 3-4 places to hold it together. You can let it cook, cover with foil and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or you can bake for 20-35 minutes until its warm all the way through. The slices are tender and will easily fall apart, so be careful when slicing
*Feel free to use any kind of nut or pumpkin seeds if someone has an allergy
Does it taste like a turkey? Definitely not. But it sure taste delicious and is a great side dish to add to your holiday spread to encourage healthy habits.
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