Monday, November 25, 2013

Meatless Monday: Thinking Beyond the Turkey

Thanksgiving Day will soon be here. Omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike are thinking about vegetables — whether as the centerpiece or as the sides for their Thanksgiving Day meal.

Last week I proposed the rutabaga for your consideration. 

This week I’m sharing the recipe for my Thanksgiving dinner contribution for the second year in a row— Acorn Squash Casserole. This is a dish of my own invention, devised when I had some excess acorn squash late in the season and, after much flipping through cookbooks and searching the internet, I could not find a recipe I liked . 

It was featured as a Meatless Monday recipe on March 26, 2012. The post in which I bragged about my fame has received one of my highest page counts (fast approaching 1000), with readers from all over the world. I guess I’m not the only person who ever wanted to make a squash casserole! I encourage you to visit the Meatless Monday page, where you will find the nutritional information for my dish, and to explore the site, so rich in valuable content.

Here is the recipe as I submitted it to Meatless Monday. I’ve been making it ever since, and I haven’t changed a thing. [Sorry, vegans, I don’t have substitutions for the dairy products.] It can easily be halved, doubled, or tripled and can be either a centerpiece or a side. 

I hope you’ll give it a try. 

Acorn Squash Casserole

  • 2 acorn squash
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (Part skim may work, but do not use nonfat.)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Halve the acorn squash. 
  • Remove the seeds.
  • Brush the insides with olive oil. 
  • Turn upside down onto an ungreased baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender. (Begin checking after 30 minutes.) 
  • Oil a 1 1/2 qt. casserole.
  • When the squash is tender, scoop out the insides. 
  • Combine the squash with the yogurt, onion, melted butter, and freshly ground black pepper. 
  • Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole. 
  • Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Turn oven up to 375°. 
  • Bake until bubbly, approximately 25-30 minutes.

Happy Monday! 

Have a great week. And a wonderful holiday. Eat well (but not too much).

I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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