Bison, Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

No matter which grocery store you go to this fall, you’re bound to pass by a mountain of autumn squash, gourds and pumpkins as you stroll the aisles. All those colors, shapes and varieties of squash can seem intimidating… but don’t be afraid to pick one up and try something new! Get ready to “fall” in love with autumn veggies! ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ Here’s one of my favorites… bison apple and cranberry stuffed acorn squash. It will become one of your fall meal staples!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Ingredients
2 small/medium acorn squash
1 tsp organic coconut oil (for the squash)
1 Tbsp organic coconut oil (for the stuffing)
1 lb ground bison from Whole Foods meat counter (96% lean)
1 small onion diced
2 celery stalks diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small apple diced (pink lady works wonderfully)
1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves minced
1/3 cup dried cranberries fruit-sweetened for Whole30 (remove for repairvite diet)
1/3 cup raw pecans chopped, toasted prior to adding, (remove for nut free)
sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley for garnish if desired

Instructions

1. First, roast the squash. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

2. Cut each squash open lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds/strings with a spoon, leaving a โ€œbowlโ€ in the center.

3. Brush the top of each squash half with melted coconut oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt, then place face down on prepared baking sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until top of the squash feels soft when you press on it.

4. Roasting time will vary depending on the size of your squash. You can remove, check for doneness (it should be soft enough to eat) and return the the oven for a few more minutes if necessary.

5. While the squash roasts, prepare the stuffing. Heat a med/large skillet over med-hi heat and add a Tbsp coconut oil to melt. Add the onions and celery, stirring while cooking to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring to avoid browning. Add bison, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon to evenly brown. Once browned, remove from heat and transfer to a plate.

6. Add the diced apples, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to allow apples to soften.

7. Add the cranberries and pecans and lower heat to med/low and continue to cook another 2 minutes to blend flavors.

8. Once ready to stuff the squash, preheat your broiler and arrange the 4 squash halves face-up on the baking sheet. Scoop the stuffing mixture into each one, adding as much as you want to each. You might have leftover stuffing depending on how large your squash are and how much you fill them.

9. Once filled, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until tops of stuffing and squash are nicely browned, 5 minutes or so. Garnish with fresh minced parsley, serve and enjoy!

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