Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pork Stuffed Squash Dinner

I picked up a kabocha squash from our local U-pick farm (Old Airport Gardens, Lillooet, BC) and had no idea what to do with it. I went searching online for ideas and came across a stuffed pumpkin recipe that sounded amazing and looked like it was easy enough to convert to a kabocha. 
This makes quite a large amount and would be great for the holidays. Because I made it for only 4 people I simply froze the leftovers. They reheated quite nicely after freezing. 
While this sounds like a stuffing recipe it really is a complete meal on its own. 

Serve it with a side salad and *voila* dinner full of veggies and protein ready to go. 
If I had to count how many servings this made, I would say probably 10 good sized portions. 

Pork Stuffed Squash Dinner

1 large Kabocha squash, top cut off and seeds scooped out
1 lb pork sausage
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
5 mushrooms, diced
3 carrots, shredded
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp tarragon
1 can (540 ml) lentils, rinsed and drained
1 can (540 ml) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 pears, cored and diced
1/2 cup craisins
1 pkg (120 gr) Stove Top Stuffing
3 cups large dried bread crumbs (ie: croutons)
2 cups chicken broth
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Place scooped out squash on a cookie sheet, set aside. 

In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the pork until no longer pink. Add in the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, mushroom and carrots. Cook and stir until veggies are softened - about 5 minutes. 
Add in the spices, lentils, chickpeas, pears, and craisins. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes. 

Remove from heat and set aside. 
In a mixing bowl, combine Stove Top Stuffing and larger bread crumbs. 

Pour the chicken broth and eggs over the bread and mix well. 
Combine the bread crumb mixture with the cooked pork mixture until well mixed. 
Scrape into the squash. (Note - you may have extra filling. Simply place in an oven safe dish, cover, and bake at the same time as the squash. It will not need as much cooking time as the squash - check after about 30  minutes.)

Place the lid back on the squash and place in preheated oven.

Bake at 350 until completed heated through and cooked well - about two hours. Remove the lid at the one hour mark and give the stuffing a bit of a stir to see how hot it is. Leave the lid off for the remaining cook time. (If you poke the outside of the squash with a fork it should be soft when it is cooked). 

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Simply slice and serve. The filling may be a bit crumbly but you can just use a spoon to place it by the slice of squash. 

So good. And with all those lentils and chickpeas and veggies and pork it is soooooo filling. 
Any leftovers will last for a couple of days in the fridge OR, as I mentioned above, you can freeze leftovers for later. I use the microwave to reheat them. 
What is your favorite way to eat a kabocha? 

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