Stuffed Acorn Squash with mixed rice Pilaf
We are hardly whom you can call as TV watchers. There are only very few channels/programs I watch among which the one prominent channel is Food Network ( no surprises there!). It was instrumental in me learning many aspects and technicalities of cooking even though I am a vegetarian and use those to adopt to my vegetarian kitchen. Though I appreciate the chef's for their adept skill and creativity, I sadly don't agree with certain things which few cooks repeatedly mention in their shows. In my humble opinion, I do not agree with their view about how "adding ladles of butter" to a vegetarian dish/vegetables will make it tasty enough to make the kids eat. What? Aren't you experienced and knowledgeable enough to know that this such a wrong advocate for eating one of the nutritious foods? What is the point in eating vegetables if you are going to douse its taste with unhealthy fat and that too gallons of it? For this reason, I tend to see Ellie Krieger's shows more. Her methods, explanation make complete sense and logic to me and yes I am yet to hear her saying that you have to add tons of butter to make vegetables tasty. I have tried so many of her dishes and tips - they work every time and most importantly make total sense. Being a vegetarian it pains every time I hear that such food is bland and tasteless - again and again...and again. Sorry its not - Your recipe is the one that's doing it! I recently proved this point to one of my friends here who said - it is impossible to make her son eat vegetables. It was a challenge and it came down to it that if I make her son even take a second spoonful of whatever I made, she would consider her defeat pronto.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with mixed rice Pilaf
I made this v simple Stuffed Acorn Squash with mixed rice pilaf. I chose this for multiple reasons. We all (why kids alone?) eat with our eyes first, aroma next (or may be vice versa) and taste last. The beautiful the dish, more palatable it gets. I used mixed rice blend to give that change (when kids say - "what- same old rice? boring!"). Toasted Nuts and lots of herbs add not only taste and vibrant color to the dish but make it tasting fresh and nutritious. It is very simple to make and yes there was no need for me to add butter. In fact it has only 1/4 tsp of healthy canola oil! Lets go to the recipe
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup mixed rice blend ( it has white,brown,wild and red rice - You can use any you like)
  • 1 small acorn squash ( prepared and baked - see for a step by step pictorial)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion,chopped
  • 2-3 scallions - white and green chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white and orange carrots, chopped into small pieces ( or you can use only orange carrots)
  • 1 celery with greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas ( if using fresh, steam it for few minutes until soft)
  • few sprigs of sage
  • few sprigs of cilantro/parsley
  • few toasted sliced almonds ( or you can use toasted acorn squash seeds too)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the rice as per instructions given in your packet. Bake the acorn squash in the method shown here in this post. While they both are cooking, you can alternatively start the other cooking process. Toast the almonds/seeds in a pan for few minutes until lightly browned. Set aside. In the same pan, heat 1/4 tsp of oil. Add the cumin and fennel seeds to it. Instead of fennel seeds - you can use vegetable fennel instead.
2. Once the seeds start getting aromatic, add the onions, scallion whites and garlic. Sprinkle a little salt to sweat out the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the celery and carrots and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
3. Remove the pulp from the acorn squash as shown in this post, making sure to leave some in the shell themselves and add it to the onion mixture. Toss it until well blended with other vegetables.
4. Now add the cooked rice and frozen peas along with scallion greens. Add more seasoning if needed and cook for 1-2 minutes for all the ingredients to come together. Finish off with plenty of herbs.
Take the Acorn shell, spoon some of the rice mixture into it and garnish with nuts and some herbs. Serve warm. Simple beautiful and nutritious meal - wont you say? Stuffed Acorn Squash with mixed rice Pilaf

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3 Member Reviews

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By Melissa on Aug 26, 2012

My husband & I loved this recipe! Taking one Acorn Squash from my garden was perfect for cooking for two also! I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand that was listed so mine varied a little. Instead of using fennel seeds, I added some Nature's Seasoning & also used brown rice since I didn't have wild rice in the pantry. I also added some veggie broth powder to the rice before adding it into the veggie mix. This recipe is super easy to make. I cut my acorn squash in half & baked it with the cut side facing down for about 30 minutes while I cooked the veggies & rice. I used onion, celery (including the leaves), shredded carrot, garlic powder, nature's seasoning, celery seed, then added the scooped out squash to the mix & finally the rice. I love that you really can adapt the ingredients to whatever you have on hand. LOVE this healthy & yummy recipe! I also roasted the seeds which added a nice crunchy snack later.


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By ashwini on Nov 25, 2011

This dish was delicious, i loved the taste of rice as well as the Acorn Squash.

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By jana on Jan 10, 2010

love your story and recipe... i like to do something similar when i'm short on time or patience with Uncle Ben's Wild Rice (original recipe)—after baking the squash (i cut them the other way, not that it matters), i simply fill with the cooked rice, scooping the flesh of the squash as it's eaten. it's delish. this works well for brothy vegetable soups too.

By Saranya on Dec 11, 2009

Hi, I tried this dish and it came out well. I modified it a little so that it can be had by our naturopathy guests. Ofcourse my little nephew who is 6 years old believed its a green bowl! Thanks a lot! Do take a look at my version!

Thank you Saranya - I am glad u liked it :) -- DK

By Srivalli on Oct 30, 2009

Thanks for the lovely entry dhivi.

By INetIdentity on Oct 24, 2009

Awesome blog here... And very well said that veggie doesn't mean bland and unsophisticated food...

By Susie on Oct 14, 2009

We loved your recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash with Rice Pilaf. You were so right that it is definitely flavorful! I made a few additions/substitutions by adding some ginger, chopped dates, and walnuts instead of almonds. This is a recipe that we will be having again. Thanks!

Thank you Susie for trying the dish. I am glad you enjoyed them. Adding dates sounds interesting! I will try the next I make it :)

By CurryLeaf on Oct 3, 2009

Looks yum and inviting and healthy.Never tried acornsquash in a rice dish thgh I used it as a pumpkin sub.Ditto with foodnetwork and I agree with you on butter ,never feel the need to add more butter to make it more taste.

By Sudha Rajagopalan on Sep 28, 2009

YOU DON'T NEED BUTTER TO MAKE A VEGETARIAN DISH TASTIER. I agree with you 100%. People who have no concept of how to cook veggies are the ones that mostly douse them with butter. Each veggie has its own unique flavor and taste, balancing them with the right spices brings the best in them without destroying their nutritional value. Well said and a great post. Thanks

Thank you Sudha :)

By Veggie Belly on Sep 27, 2009

this is a gorgeous fall dish..

By Ambika on Sep 27, 2009

Hey DK, Such beautiful pictures, I'm sure it was delicious too, love the idea of stuffing the acorn squash! And Happy Dussehra!!!

By Parita on Sep 27, 2009

This indeed is feast for eyes!

By Priya on Sep 26, 2009

Yummy...cant take the eyes from the dish, delicious...

By VBP on Sep 25, 2009


By Divya Vikram on Sep 25, 2009

THat sounds yummy and pretty too. ANd yeah I completely agree with you that one doesnt need butter to make veggies tastier.

By Pavani on Sep 25, 2009

Looks absolutely delicious. I remember eating stuffed acorn squash in South Carolina long time ago, but it was bland and boring. Yours looks colorful and yummy. Will definitely try.