A Southwestern Twist

Lizís Local Meal

I think I may have said this already but I love squash, and now I know how to cook it thanks to our going local challenge. So you can imagine my delight when I picked up this month’s issue of Eating Well magazine which features these hearty gourds. The recipe below for this week’s local meal came from this issue and was modified only slightly to accomodate the 100 miles rule. You can view the original recipe here.

Southwestern Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash
1 lb. local grass fed beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 cups black beans, soaked overnight and boiled for 30 min.
a few dashes of hot red pepper sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar)

1. Preheat oven to 375 and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake until tender (around 35 min).
3. While the squash is in the oven, lightly coat a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned (about 3-5 min). Add onion and bell pepper; cook stirring often, until softened. Stir in garlic, cumin and chili powder. Then stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are broken down (10-12 min.).
4. When the squash is tender, reduce oven temp to 325 and remove. Cut a small slice off the top of the squash so they will stand upright. Flip them over and fill them up with the meat mixture, top with cheese and pop it bake in the oven until cheese melts.

All of the above ingredients were local except the two spices and the dash of hot pepper sauce. I used just one squash to serve my husband and I, and saved the leftover meat mixture to use tomorrow in tacos or on a salad. This recipe could easily be adjusted for a vegetarian diet by cutting out the meat and adding other veggies such as zucchini or eggplant.

According to Eating Well, one cup of cooked squash is only about 80 calories and is high in vitamin A and C, and is a great source of B6 and K, potassium and folate!

Posted in Going Local,Recipes by Liz on October 4, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

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