We created this STM recipe with some serious inspiration from our new friends at SweetCheeks HQ. (“Serious inspiration” means we really liked their recipe but didn’t have all the ingredients on hand when we were hungry). The “Cheeks” are Alyssa and Shirley, who have a stated mission, “To help you create colorful, delicious and nutritious foods, show you fitness is exciting and fun, be mindful of the Earth and inspire you to actively participate in your own well-being!” We’re always on the lookout for new recipe sites to share with our readers, and while not everything on the Cheeks’ site is Whole30 approved, there was too much good stuff to keep it from you.
Melissa and I aim to be aware of the concept of “seasonal eating”, which is pretty darn similar to “local eating”, since what’s local is in season (unless it’s grown inside). So, when a good looking recipe including good “fall food” like squash, apples and cranberries comes along, we jump on it. I was born in September, so I figure it’s totally natural to love fall stuff: pumpkin, apples, cranberries, maple syrup. Mmm, maple syrup…
Sorry, I got distracted. On to the cooking. You can find Sweet Cheek’s original recipe here, but we used so many substitutes that we’re posting our version.
Steal This Meal: Stuffed Sweet Acorn Squash
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 pound grass-fed, organic ground beef (ground turkey would work, too)
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 finely-chopped apple (we used a Braeburn, but find something local-ish)
- ½ cup chopped cranberries (fresh, not dried)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp sage
- unrefined coconut oil
- salt, pepper
These reminded us of good Thanksgiving food. Even though it was made with beef, it was reminiscent of Thanksgiving turkey with the herbs. We’ll actually try this with ground turkey again at some point.
- Preheat the oven to ~400 degrees.
- Cut the acorn squash in half, and scoop out the seeds and any stringy stuff.
- Place the squash cut side up in a large baking pan, and put a tablespoon of water into each “cup”, and pour ¼ cup of water into the bottom of the pan.
- Loosely “tent” the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- While squash is baking, chop the onion, apple, pecans and cranberries.
- Saute the beef and onion in a little coconut oil for 2-3 minutes, then add pecans, cranberries, and herbs. Add salt and pepper. Do not completely cook this mixture.
- Pull squash out of the oven, spoon the mixture into the “cups” (heaped to overflowing is okay).
- Bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes.
We added a simple arugula and watercress salad with lemon-basil vinaigrette, but any green veggie would do as a side.
Got a delicious, simple list of ingredients for our next Friday recipe feature? Send your Steal This Meal entry (along with photos and YOUR Whole30-inspired story!) to email@example.com. And if you’re looking for more delicious recipe ideas from Whole9 and our readers, just select “Recipes” from the category list on our sidebar… and head over to the SweetCheeks HQ site and give some of their delicious Paleo recipes a whirl.
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Awesome shout out!! And your version look deeeelish!!!! Might try it out myself : )
I know that this reminds you good Thanksgiving food, so I wanted to share something that might be tasty to go along with the meal: http://girlgoneprimal.blogspot.com/2010/07/recipe-pumpkin-fries.html
I like to make them similar to the way I make sweet potatoes: with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. I might even throw in ground cloves to get more of a pumpkin pie feel.
Thanks for the great recipe idea for Thanksgiving!
Tom Denham says
This was great inspiration. I finally cooked the acorn squash that had been waiting on my kitchen island for almost two weeks. I adjusted the recipe to fit what I had on hand and came up with “Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chicken.” I prepared everything in the microwave so I could eat faster (I was hungry). I will have to try your version soon.
Where do you find dried cranberries with no added sugar?
Tom Denham says
I found dried cranberries infused with Apple juice (no added sugar) at Whole Foods Market with nuts in the Produce section.
Melissa @ Whole9 says
@Jeromie: Thanks for the share – those look really good!
@Tom: Yep, we’re good with those apple juice infused cranberries. Good score.
@Adriana: You can also find unsweetened cranberries in bulk in many local health food stores.
This was DE-LISH with ground turkey!
Did you peel the apple or did you leave the peel on?
Rachel C says
I made this last night with carnival squash and ground turkey. It was excellent! Definitely a must for fall!
@Kassi – I used the apple with the peel on.
Lil' Urban says
I’m not sure if me eating half of an entire acorn squash is practicing proper portion control, but that’s what happened in the Baker household last night. :) This was DELISH! Thanks for the post and the inspiration for a new meal.
I made it with the ground turkey as well and it was fabulous. I also used fresh herbs instead of dried. My mom said I put in too much sage. I told her no, I didn’t. LOL
Hey Melissa and Dallas,
Thanks for teaching me about the wonderful world-O-squash ….. I love all of them. One question; can I eat the outside skin too? Is it detrimental? I hope you say yes because I’ve already eaten much of it. Thanks for all you do for us.
Melissa @ Whole9 says
@Marc: While I don’t believe the skin is toxic, they’re often not very digestible, depending on the squash. If you’ve enjoyed it, and not had any digestive issues, then go on and eat the whole darn thing.
Is it worth the extra money (extra, extra money because it’s already so darn expensive) to buy the 9% grass fed ground beef instead of the 18%?
Dallas @ Whole9 says
It depends. If the beef is 100% grass-fed (i.e. grass-fed AND grass-finished) AND organic, we’re not concerned about the fat content at all, but if it’s NOT organic (i.e. given hormones and antibiotics), we’d still get the leanest meat possible. I personally don’t like really fatty cuts, so I’ll generally choose leaner cuts even if it’s excellent quality, but if you want to savor the fat with excellent quality meat, we’re on board with that.
I made this tonight for dinner and it was awesome! I used ground turkey but followed the recipe otherwise. I will be making it again and again. Thanks!
That last picture looks completely unrelated to the stuffed squash recipe, but TOTALLY delish looking. What’s the steak with avocado recipe???
What the heck happened to that last picture? I have no idea where that came from, but we’ll have to replace it with the actual stuffed squash picture.
Sorry about that!