I’ve heard a rumor.
A crazy, unsubstantiated, pie-in-the-sky rumor.
I’ve heard that comfort food, food you eat to make yourself feel better about something a bad day, a break-up, plain old-fashioned PMS – has to be bad for you.
Now, I’m not saying that stuffed acorn squash will ever take the place of the best brownies.
But it’s fall (and we love fall around here) and on some nights when there’s just a little bit of chilly in the air, a bowl of something warm is the only dinner that will do.
One of my usual suspects is macaroni and cheese, but unless you’re making it with an extra veggie, as I sometimes (but not always) do, there’s little you can do to make it good for you.
You can make a lot of dishes healthier, but you have to admit that it’s not easy to make good macaroni and cheese virtuous.
Acorn Squash, though not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter squashes, is still a good source of dietary fiber, potassium and smaller amounts of vitamins C and B.
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1 large pear, cubed
- 4 Tablespoons walnuts (also about 2 oz)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ cup (about 1 oz) chevre goat cheese
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roast seeded and halved squash cut side down 30-40 minutes. TIP: Squash is usually too hard to slice with a regular chef's knife. I like to nuke for up to five minutes, rotating every 60 seconds. Be sure to punch holes in the skin with a fork before placing in microwave.
- While squash is cooking, combine diced pear and walnuts in a shallow baking dish. Toss with canola oil. Place in oven with squash and let cook 20 minutes, or until pear is opaque and walnuts begin to brown.
- Combine pear and walnuts with goat cheese and dried cranberries in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Stuff each squash with filling and serve. If you're saving half of this to eat for lunch or dinner the next day, refrigerate the squash and filling individually. Reheat separately and combine just before serving, for best results.