Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Apple, Pecan and “Sausage” Stuffed Acorn Squash. This easy-but-impressive dinner dish is sure to become a fall favorite in your house. This recipe calls for "pre-cooking the squash in the microwave, then finishing it in the oven," says the Meatless Monday website.
Apple, Pecan and “Sausage” Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 1-pound acorn squashes, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces soy sausage crumbles
2 apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter or butter substitute
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Put the squash in a microwave-safe dish with a little water, cook on high for 2-3 minutes, or until soft. Set aside while you prepare the stuffing.
Crumble the "sausage" into a skillet and cook over medium heat according to directions. Be careful not to overcook. Add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, until the fruit is crisp-tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Scoop out the squash, leaving 3/8-inch thick shells. Add the squash pulp you’ve removed to the sausage mixture and mix lightly. Don’t break up the squash. Combine the pecans, butter, brown sugar, sage, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then add to the sausage mixture, again mixing carefully so as not to break up the squash.
Spoon the stuffing mix into the squash halves. Bake uncovered until piping hot and brown and crusty on top, about 20 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving.
Nutrition info: 400 calories, 23 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 430 mg sodium, 42 g total carbs, 5 g dietary fiber and 16 g protein.