This gorgeous dish, perfect as an entrée or a side dish, showcases millet, an extremely nutritious whole grain. It is prettiest when made with smaller squash. For large gatherings, serve several squash arranged on a large platter, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro sprigs. For meat-eaters, mix in browned sausage or cubed, cooked chicken.
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
3 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole grain millet, rinsed
½ cup medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oill
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley, more for garnish
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
-Dash paprika, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Place squash, cut sides down, in the dish. Bake in preheated oven until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat to cool while cooking the millet. Leave the oven on.
3. While the squash bakes, cook the millet: In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the salt, millet and onion and return to a boil; then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until millet is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the oil to coat thoroughly. Stir in the garlic, raisins, cilantro, cumin and turmeric. Set aside.
4. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds from cooked squash and discard. Scrape out the flesh, leaving ¼-inch along the skin to create squash bowls. (Save as much scooped-out flesh as possible to use in the filling.) Place scooped-out squash back in the casserole dish, cut sides up.
5. Add scooped-out flesh to the millet, folding in with a spatula until well blended. Divide the millet mixture evenly among the squash and press it in with a spatula to create smooth, even mounds. Divide the pine nuts or pumpkin seeds among the squashes and press them into the millet mixture with your fingers. (They toast as the squash bakes.) Lightly sprinkle with paprika.
6. Bake until the millet mixture is slightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro or parsley.
Each serving contains 411 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 666mg sodium, 81g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 9g protein.
Reprinted with permission from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes (Avery/Penguin Group, 2011), by Carol Fenster. Available at LivingWithout.com.