Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Barley, Mushroom and Spinach Pilaf with Sweet Roasted Yams

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Barley, Mushroom and Spinach Pilaf with Sweet Roasted Yams

What a title!

So last night, not sure how many of you were aware, there was a total lunar eclipse. If you saw it, I hope you enjoyed it as much as Brett and I did. It was bitterly cold here, around 10 degrees, but we toughed it out. I think the best part of all was how the shadow of the Earth made the Moon look. It was the first time I had ever been able to perceive the actual spherical shape that the Moon has. It normally looks like a one dimensional circle, and with the shadow, you could see the dimensions. Very cool, it was a bit of a humbling experience, seeing it like that, realizing how much it affects us (tides and such) and we affect it. I wish I could have gotten a picture, but it probably wouldn’t have been the same.

Anyways, dinner last night was really good. I had been eyeing a Vegetarian Times recipe for Barley, Shiitake, and Spinach Pilaf, and was trying to come up with a way to make a meal out of it. Well, I ended up switching around the mushrooms and stuffing the pilaf into a roasted acorn squash, I also served it with a side of Sweet Roasted Yams, a recipe I made up as I went along. A note though, this recipe is probably very time consuming if you try to make it all at once. I had Brett make the barley during the day while I was at work, and he started roasting the squash when I was on my way home. Having the ingredients prepped ahead of time made this a fairly quick dinner. Secondly, the ‘side’ of yams really is more like a dessert than a side, but that’s ok, right? You can find the original recipe that this meal was adapted from here.

Now, I must say, both Brett and I agreed that this picture doesn't really do the meal justice.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Barley, Mushroom, and Spinach Pilaf

Serves 4

1 cup pearled barley
3 cups vegetable broth or water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 onion, diced
2 1/2 cups portobello mushrooms, sliced
small package of white button mushrooms, sliced
4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
2 tbsp. shoyu (or other soy sauce)
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 acorn squash, roasted

To roast the squash:

Preheat oven to 400.

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side down for 40 minutes.

Add barley and broth or water to medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 1 hour.

In large nonstick saucepan, heat a few tablespoons of water over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.

Add garlic, portabella and white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until soft. Add barley, stirring often, until barley is heated through. Add spinach in batches, covering pan with a lid to steam. Remove from heat. Season with shoyu, sesame oil and cayenne pepper.

Stuff in to a halved acorn squash.

This makes a lot of food. We had it served in the squash for dinner, and I brought the leftovers to work, with a couple of whole wheat tortillas for lunch.

Super Yummy Sweet Roasted Yams
1 large yam, peeled, washed, and diced
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp agave (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Put coconut oil in a baking pan and place in the oven so the oil can melt.

Toss diced potatoes will the rest of the ingredients.

Bake, uncovered for 35-40 minutes until yams are soft, stirring a couple of times while baking.

All and all it was a very good dinner and a very good night.

‘Til next time!


Anonymous said...

What a title and what a meal--it looks great!


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Just beautiful! Roasted acorn squash is amazing, and your meal looks like something that'd be served at a 5-star restaurant!

Jennifer said...

Courtney - Thanks!

Chocolate Covered - Thank you kindly. I guess it could look 5-star, except for the plates....


Lizzy said...

Oh WOW!!! Jennifer, this looks fantastic!
Even though I see mushrooms peaking =p the stuffing looks delicious! Awesome that you turned it into a tasty tortilla lunch. Mhhh!
Acorn squash is also something I've never had. Another thing to try on my 3-VEG-days-a-week ;)

Melody Polakow said...

What a beautiful dinner.

My dog and I watched the eclipse at the beach the other night. She was acting really weird.. It was an amazing site. I wish I had brought my tripod and camera instead of my dog!

vegan blog tracker said...

It was bitterly cold here, too, but my friends and I went out a few times to look at the moon. Very cool.

Even though this was the third lunar eclipse within the past year, the next one will be Dec of 2010.

Jennifer said...

Lizzy - Thanks! It tasted wonderful as well. I am trying to get more creative for ways I can 'makeover' my leftovers, it makes eating leftovers more exciting, and I'm more likely to get Brett to eat them that way as well.

You should try acorn squash, it is really good. A coworker of mine said she had it roasted with maple syrup in it, I bet that would be good too. I think I may have to take up your veggie challenge, at least one day a week, especially since beans and quinoa count!

Melody - Thank you.

That's funny your dog was acting weird, maybe he/she could sense that something was different, animals are neat like that.

Vegan Blog Tracker - Kudos to you for braving the cold to check it out! How weird that we had so many this year, and will now have to wait awhile until the next eclipse. I'm glad I got to see it!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Aww, thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog :o).

Monika K said...

Ah, Orwell. My very first crush... (-:

Monika K said...

And I forgot to mention that I fed the "Orange Chicken Style Tofu" (my last post) to a friend of mine who had never tried tofu before and she loved it. The rural vegan posted about the recipe and how much she, who had never had tofu before, loved it too. So, case in point, I think Brett would really like it (I just cut up the tofu in to fairly small chunks).

Happy Herbivore! said...

I LOVE acorn squash! Last time I made it Scott said it was too bland --but if I made this - there is NO WAY he could argue it was bland! YUM

Jennifer said...

Chocolate Covered - Not a problem, it was a great post. :-)

Monika - Haha! I felt the same way, how did he know, so long ago, how things might end up? Sure he got the technology wrong, but that wasn't really the point of 1984 either, was it? ;-)

I already took that recipe down! I love fruit, and if it's sweet, Brett will try it, even if it's tofu. When I make it, I'll be sure to cut the tofu up real small, and I bet he'll dig it.

Happy Herbivore - Acorn squash rocks, though I can see how Scott would have though it was bland if he ate it by itself. For some reason, it reminded me a bit of a potato, with that logic, there is all sorts of stuff you could do with one of those beauties.

Did you check out Monika's Orange Tofu (see her comment above), I bet you'd probably dig on that as well. :-)

pleasantly plump vegan said...

i just tried barley for the first time the other day and we are hooked. those yams look too good!

Happy Herbivore! said...

man. why do i do this to myself?
this is the 5th time I've come to your blog to stare at that acorn squash.

Jennifer said...

Haha! It is tantalizing.