I think I’ve eaten pretty much every winter squash known to man this season.
Being on a low FODMAPs diet for some time now, I don’t do sweet potatoes very often. And truth be told, I would likely get tired of them pretty quickly if I did. So my starchy go-to is squash and will be for the foreseeable future.
For some reason, I have yet to tire of it. Not only do the various squash varieties have subtle differences in taste, but the textures can vary widely.
My favorites tend toward the creamier ones, of course. Butternut, acorn, kuri squash (oh, the kuri! <3) and more recently, the carnival squash. It’s soft but seems to hold its texture a little better than the butternut. And it still has enough naturally occurring sugars to brown nicely while still serving as a very nutritious starch.
I’ve played around with a LOT of different filling combos. I was on a cran-apple chutney kick (similar to this one with apple added in) for quite awhile. But after burning through about 3 quarts full in a month’s time, it was time for some new variations.
This stuffing is so versatile, and can even be eaten on it’s own. I generally add some meat to the Instant Pot just before I get the squash roasting, and everything is ready together in about 45 minutes time. I’ve also played around with adding leftover shredded meat to the filling mix with leftover wedges for a quick lunch.
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Stuffed Squash with Kale, Pear & Pomegranate
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings, as a side dish
1 carnival or acorn squash, cut into 4 wedges
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 sweet or white onion, chopped
1 pear, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 kale leaves, ribs removed & roughly chopped
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F. Lay the squash wedges out on a lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a high-heat cooking oil and a generous coating of sea salt and black pepper. Turn them downward to lay on one cut side and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until soft throughout when pricked with a fork. It helps to rotate the wedges halfway through for even cooking throughout.
Shoot to chop your carrots, onion, and pear into similarly sized pieces (about 1/2″) for easier filling of the wedges.
About halfway through the squash cooking time, heat a wide skillet over medium heat. Grease with a high-heat cooking oil and add the carrots and onion. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pear and continue to cook until you begin to see some browning, about another 5 minutes..
Add the garlic and the kale and stir until the kale has just barely wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. You can clear the pan out to toast your pine nuts at this point, if needed.
After the squashes have roasted, fill them with the sauteed mix and top with pomegranate arils and toasted pine nuts, as desired.