Wild Rice and Spinach Stuffed Acorn Squash
This recipe makes a flavorful and healthy vegetarian main dish for four or you can serve it as a tasty and satisfying side for eight. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
½ cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup gluten-free vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil, measured in solid form, divided
2 medium acorn squash
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
2 large cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt, more to taste
8 ounces baby spinach
-Fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons gluten-free panko-style breadcrumbs
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine wild rice, vegetable stock or water and 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 35 to 45 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. While rice is cooking, cut each squash in half from top to bottom and scrape out seeds (discard or save them for another purpose). Place squash flesh side down in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Add enough water to come about a fourth of the way up the side of the squash. Place in preheated oven and bake uncovered 30 minutes.
4. While squash is baking, place 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced shallot and cook 4 to 6 minutes until tender. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more, until fragrant. Add salt. Quickly rinse spinach under running water, give it a good shake and add to shallots with water still clinging to spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
5. Transfer cooked spinach mixture to a colander to drain. Roughly chop spinach. Combine spinach, shallot and garlic with cooked wild rice. Set aside.
6. Remove squash from oven after 30 minutes. Carefully flip over so that flesh side faces up. Season with salt and pepper. Fill squash with rice and spinach mixture.
7. Cover baking dish with foil and return to preheated oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until flesh is fork-tender.
8. Combine breadcrumbs and parsley in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Melt remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and toss with breadcrumbs.
9. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over rice and spinach filling. Return squash to preheated oven and bake uncovered an additional 8 to 10 minutes, just until breadcrumbs begin to turn light golden brown.
10. Remove from oven and let cool several minutes before serving.