French Lentil & Buckwheat Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Yield 6 servings
  • 2 equal sized Acorn Squashes (cut 3 rings from each)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup buckwheat or quinoa, previously cooked (great to use leftovers)
  • 1 cup French lentils, canned, rinsed and drained well
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (sulphite free)
  • 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • Fresh thyme for serving

Bake the acorn squash
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Drizzle grape seed oil on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

3. Hold the acorn squash on its side on a cutting board and using a sharp serrated knife slice off about 3/4 of an inch off one side. Then, cut again, then again to make 3 even clean slices. (This could get a bit tricky, and the pieces could not come out very even – don’t worry. Just go back and trim off uneven portions as best you can to make them lay down flat.)

4. Some pieces will not be fully filled with squash so I went in with a pairing knife and cut that part out to make all the rings hollow so that they cook evenly and also so that the filling fits.

5. Scoop out seeds and discard those.

6. Set squash rings on the prepared sheet and brush with more oil. Sprinkle some sea salt, pepper and thyme on top.

7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Being sure to flip them over half-way through. (In the meantime, you can prepare the filling.)

8. Remove from oven and fill with stuffing. (It should be ready by now).

1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add in the pine nuts. (Do not add oil to this, just straight onto a dry pan.) Toss gently around a few times as they toast up. Once they get a little toasted and aromatic, remove from the pan into a side bowl and set aside.

2. Drizzle grape seed oil into the same pan and sauté the onion until golden.

3. Add in buckwheat, lentils and spinach and cook for a few minutes until the ingredients get hot and the spinach wilts a bit. Do not overcook the spinach as it will loose color.

4. Add in the dried cranberries, balsamic vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

5. Scoop the filling into the freshly baked Acorn Squash rings.

6. Top with toasted pine nuts, pomegranate arils and fresh thyme. Drizzle tops with extra balsamic vinaigrette if desired.

7. Serve hot. (But not bad at all if they’re cold which makes them great for a potluck or a buffet table.)

8. To serve, use a large flat spatula to lift these up so that the filling doesn’t fall out. Enjoy!