Healthy Turkey Day Additions

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Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Near the end of last week I accidentally poisoned myself. I am allergic to onions but I continue to test the spectrum occasionally to see if maybe there is a strand that is tolerable. As of 11/16…there isn’t.

The latest trial was with leeks and oh boy the results where basically instantaneous. It was because of this that I took it easy on myself over the weekend. I made most of my food, which is rare on Friday and Saturday, and made sure I knew exactly what was in all the other food I consumed. Clean eating is generally a good practice to live by outside of remedying digestive issues but occasionally I slack in favor of convenience foods.

While I finished getting my digestive system back on track in time for the ultimate feast, Thanksgiving, I stuck with soups and squash. I cannot get enough of my immersion bender or stuffing anything I can think of into a squash. Not only is the latter gorgeous but incredibly tasty. When I made this Hazelnut and Farro Stuffing-esque Acorn Squash for Friendsgiving I knew it was not a one time thing. Any time you want that Thanksgiving taste and feel in a meal without the guilt some associate with this holiday, this recipe should be your go-to. You can even make this if you are low on time when the craving strikes with 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s.

The farro in veggie broth with some of the traditional stuffing ingredients and the addition of hazelnuts is a revelation. When you are ready to serve the squash top with a dollop of cranberry sauce or a drizzle of honey to fully round out the flavor. This dish has the added benefit of being vegan. It is perfect for those hard to please family members at the holiday meal whether they normally enjoy meat or live more plant based.

This photo definitely does not do the squash justice. I did not trim the bottoms enough so I needed a bowl to hold up the finished product. After the squash I moved on to tomato soup. Adolescent Katie was rolling her eyes. Traditionally, tomato soup is the lowest of the low on the soup list. Yet, I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and knew I needed to try it. I guess that is the benefit of good food photography, check out that link this soup is gorgeous.  I roasted three different kinds of tomatoes and used asiago, parmesan cheese and more than the required garlic and basil. This soup completely blew me away and totally changed my childhood perception. Run, don’t walk to the store and stock up on ingredients to make this soon!

So as I lay on my couch, surrounded by Christmas decorations yet to put up and still full of the amazing Thanksgiving meal yesterday (with leftovers this morning) I am dreaming of the meals that made it possible for me to enjoy this Holiday.

Hazelnut, White Bean, and Farro Stuffed Acorn Squash

Perfect for Thanksgiving or for those cold winter nights where you want to get in the Holiday spirit without the Holiday food coma. Can feed 3-6 depending on how you cut the squash or if you want it for a meal or a side.

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 1h
  • Total Time: 1h 10m

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked whole grain farro
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped or julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 15-16 oz. can cannellini beans (unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 acorn squash

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook farro according to instructions. If you are in a hurry use the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe's
  3. Cut the tops off the squash and scoop out the seeds. Put a light coating of olive oil and some salt and pepper in the squash, add to a sprayed baking dish cut side up, and bake for about 45 minutes until tender.
  4. In the mean time. Add olive oil to a medium-high heated pan and then add celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add sage in the last minute then remove from stove and add in farro mixture, beans, and hazelnuts
  6. Fill the acorn squash with this mixture, drizzle the tops with a bit more olive oil, and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is slightly browned.
  7. You can serve as is, or add some honey or cranberry sauce over the top depending on your mood.

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday and enjoy this fabulous long weekend.

-Katie

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