Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gluten Free Goodness: Meaty Marinara Acorn Squash

Meaty Marinara Acorn Squash
Sometimes my favorite recipes come from dinners that I've planned far in advance, and at the last minute, I realize I've forgotten to buy a key ingredient!

The other night I had planned a big spaghetti dinner with meat sauce marinara, one of Baby Bodhi's absolute favorites!  The first time we taught him to suck up the noodles in his mouth, he giggled so hard and instantly wanted to try it.  He's still perfecting his pucker, but it's tough to practice when mommy forgets to buy the noodles.

I had one acorn squash on hand, and instantly decided that the meaty marinara was getting stuffed into these rich, golden veggie cups.  I wasn't sure Bodhi would be okay with the sudden change, but he loved it!  I am so blessed with a baby boy who loves to eat and isn't afraid to try new things!

You'll have PLENTY of marinara left over, and it's SOOO good in your scrambled eggs the next morning!

Meaty Marinara Acorn Squash

Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 1 hour  / Servings: 2

Meaty Marinara
Acorn Squash
  • 1 large acorn squash
  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup shredded four cheese Italian blend
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) tomato basil marinara sauce (I use Trader Joe's)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 cup California red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half so that the top and bottom rest flat on a cookie sheet.
  3. Remove the seeds from the inside of the squash and rub with 1 tbsp. each of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Lay the acorn squash yellow side down on the cookie sheet.  Leave it uncovered and place it in the oven to bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork.  Remove from the heat, flip them over on the cookie sheet (yellow side up) and set aside.
  5. Heat a large skillet on high heat with 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Add the bell pepper, onion and ground turkey. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes until the ground turkey is cooked through and the veggies are soft.
  6. Add the marinara sauce and reduce the heat down to a simmer.  Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, red wine, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Stir well until combined.  Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally, until there is almost no liquid left in the sauce.  Adjust the seasoning, stir, and remove from the heat.
  7. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the marinara into the center of the acorn squash.  Top with shredded cheese and place the stuffed squash back in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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