Morrocan stuffed squash (cooking project – day 11)

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When I was planning my cooking calendar for October, I was not anticipating an Indian Summer.  The temperature was over 80 degrees today and we had a thunderstorm which produced a few tornadoes in the area. We’re all okay and we didn’t lose power once so the cooking must go on!

Tonight’s meal was Morrocan stuffed squash with cous cous from 1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes.  It’s a very autumny meal to have on such a warm day.  My hubby had all the vegetables and fruit cut before I made it home which helped a lot with cooking time (love him!).  The recipe calls for two acorn squash, halved and de-seeded, fresh pineapple, brussel sprouts, and onion.   Place all of these items into a single layer in a roasting pan lined with foil.  I don’t know where the author’s get their acorn squash, but there’s no way mine were all fitting into one pan. Good thing I have two.  Spray the vegetables with a little oil and sprinkle them with a spice mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Put the pans in the oven and bake at 425° for 40 minutes.  The squash is going to smell amazing while it’s cooking.

Tip: Pineapple slicers make life a lot easier when cutting fresh pineapples.  And if you’re sick of using PAM or other cooking sprays, try getting an olive oil sprayer.

Before the vegetables are done, cook the cous cous and then mix in a little cilantro and dethawed frozen corn.  When veggies are done (check squash to make sure it’s tender) mix all but the squash with the cous cous mixture and then spoon that mixture into the acorn squash and serve.

My husband was a little apprehensive coming to this meal because brussel sprouts and what he describes as “fibrous vegetables” such as the acorn squash make him nervous.  He’s never been a fan of sweet, mushy dishes like Thanksgiving sweet potatoes so getting him to enjoy roasted squash with brown sugar might have been a stretch. Plus I was hoping to get him to appreciate brussel sprouts by serving the fresh vs. frozen version.  They’re like baby cabbages! What’s not to love? Alas, he didn’t like either and instead ate around the brussel sprouts and finished his squash with a queasy grimace. Personally, I thought it was delicious. The squash was soft and sweet and complimented the onion, cous cous and brussel sprouts well. And the pineapple was the perfect addition.  I probably could’ve done without the cilantro but that’s because I’ve always thought the taste of cilantro resembled soap.  The cous cous mixture is good enough to eat by itself and I think the roasted squash would be a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. The hubby will just have to pass it on.  So as a compromise between his reaction and mine, and since marriage is full of compromises, this recipe gets a “B”.

Tomorrow: chili sin carne (1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes)

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