Fall is in the air. Finally. I feel like I can actually wear jeans outside without sweating, we can rightfully pull our sweaters out of the closet, pumpkins are filling our porch, and dinners on the back porch are not only bearable, but incredibly pleasant. Bye, bye mosquitoes, hello crisp leaves.
One of the best parts of fall to me is the food. It is so easy to throw a ton of vegetables together and have a warm, hearty, healthy meal. It actually seems easier to cook healthy in the cooler months. And there is nothing as satisfying as a hot home cooked meal on a chilly evening.
This is one of my favorite meals. Ever. The colors, the flavors, the smells. It’s all incredible. The sweetness of the squash paired with the richness of bacon and kale is to die for. I got this recipe from Rachel Cooks, she has so many awesome healthy recipes. So thankful for people like her who create and share recipes like this, so I want to do the same and pass it along!
Try it. Eat it. You’ll love it.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
1 large butternut squash
1-2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
¾ lbs of thick-cut bacon
2 cups loosely packed kale
2 cups cooked red quinoa
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ lbs extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Rub or spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast for about 40 minutes to an hour, or until the flesh is tender. (Mine actually took about 1 1/2 hours)
- In a large frying pan, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain the grease. Using about 1 tsp of the bacon grease, sauté the kale until lightly wilted.
- After squash is cooked through, remove and reduce the oven temperature to 375.
- After squash cools, scoop out the flesh, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. (Try not to break the skin, because you will put the mixture back in it)
- Mash the flesh of the squash in a large bowl. Add quinoa, bacon, kale, nutmeg, cheese, and thyme. Mix until well combined.
- Return the mixture to the hollowed out squash, and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Cut the halves in half, and serve! It’s especially good on the back porch with a glass of wine.
1 large squash serves about 4.
* This recipe does take awhile, due to all the moving parts, but it is so easy. I typically cook the squash and sauté the bacon earlier in the day. Then, about 45 minutes before dinner, I begin preparing, mixing, grating, and pop it back in the oven. So easy, and so dang good.