I can certainly feel a chill in the air here in Minnesota. Most of my fall gardening projects are done now and my rosebushes are covered to protect them in anticipation for those long winter months ahead. This is the time of year that I love to spend time in my warm cozy kitchen preparing recipes using the squash that I harvested from my garden that we planted last summer. Squash tend to keep very well long after they have been harvested so we can enjoy them in the cold months ahead of us.
Wild rice is also grown and harvested in northern Minnesota. I recently decided to prepare a delicious main meal that incorporates both the wild rice and acorn squash. I served the Acorn Squash with Wild Rice for lunch recently on one of those cool days and we really enjoyed the taste and texture of this meal. My husband and I are also very nutrition conscious and we enjoyed the meal for it’s awesome health benefits as well.
Acorn squash is an excellent source of immune supportive Vitamins A and C. It is also a good dietary source of potassium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate, thiamine and Vitamin B6. Just a 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value(DV) of Vitamin C for healthy adults as well as 4 grams of fiber. The B vitamins which include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 help to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve function, adrenal function, liver function and are also valuable to skin and eye health. The B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy in our bodies. The B vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein.
- 3 medium acorn squash, (approximately 1½ pounds each) halved lengthwise with the seeds removed
- 3 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 2 TB pure maple syrup
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
- ¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 tsp thyme seasoning
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (prepare on your stove or in a rice cooker)
- ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries,
- Heat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with 1 TB melted coconut oil or olive oil on the inside of the squash halves .Add 1 tsp of pure maple syrup to each squash half. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on each squash half. Roast squash in the oven or approximately 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender. If desired, you may microwave the squash until tender, ( approximately 18-20 minutes per 2 squash halves).
- Place 2 TB of melted coconut or olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery until they are softened which may take about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and black pepper to this mixture and stir well. Add the cooked wild rice, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan and gently fold in. Continue heating until the mixture is warmed through, approximately 3-5 minutes .Remove the frying pan from heat source.
- After you have removed your cooked squash from the oven, add the wild rice filling mixture to each squash half. Serve immediately
Acorn squash and wild rice are also very good sources of dietary fiber. One half cup of cooked accorn squash provides 4.5 grams of fiber. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 3 grams of fiber. According to Web MD, the average American consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and healthy men consume 38 grams per day. Some people may need to limit dietary fiber for certain medical conditions so please consult your family physician or your personal registered dietitian for guidelines concerning this.
Wild rice is a good source of protein, folate, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Most Americans tend to fall short of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value (DV) for magnesium. One cup of cooked wild rice supplies 13% of the daily value or ( RDA) for magnesium , 7% of the daily value or (RDA) for iron and 6.5 grams of protein. I love the taste and texture of wild rice, not to mention all of the nutritional benefits of this grain.
This recipe would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
My food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen is inspired by many of the vintage china and serving bowls, platters, glassware and goblets that were passed on to me by my mother, grandmother and great aunt. I found that I was letting these unique and beautiful items sit in my china cabinet admired, but unused. When I began writing this food blog, I wanted to use these precious family treasures as serving dishes for my food blog creations. I also love to collect and display vintage kitchen gadgets in my cozy country themed kitchen. My mother was exploring the attic of our century old home when I was a child and she found the vintage food cans pictured above. She cleaned them off and she shellaced the cans to preserve the finish on them. I have them proudly displayed in a china cabinet in my living room. She certainly had a knack for finding old things. She was digging in our garden of the home that I grew up in and ended up finding a century old nickel that time. As I grow older, I am finding that I appreciate those memories more and more.
Fall is certainly one of my favorite seasons here in the midwest. Although it gets very cold here during the winter months, we are blessed to be able to enjoy four different and colorful seasons. My husband, mother in law and myself took a fall leaf tour near Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago and I am including some of the beautiful pictures that I snapped that day.
I admit that I took a little break from my food blog and plan to publish my food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen monthly in the future. So far this has been a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby for me. I may end up changing and shortening my food blog domain slightly so that it is compatible with Twitter. I will keep my readers posted of any changes. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!