Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash With Cranberry Rice & Garam Masala

Oh acorn squash – how I thought you were disgusting when I was a child, and, now I know what it takes to make you delicious!

Many adults aren’t squash fans, probably because their family didn’t serve it very well.  This recipe can change all that.

Healthy Vegan Baked Acorn Squash – No-Oil, Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Most people don’t know how to stuff vegetables, do they?   The ones I know anyways, are wowed when presented with a flavourful rice filled acorn squash.

No need to be impressed folks, because this stuffed acorn squash recipe is a dead easy meal to make.

Downright relaxing for the cook actually.

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Roasted With Wild Rice, Dried Cranberries, Garam Masala, Spinach and Black Beans

This whole-foods plant-based (wpb) oil-free roasted and stuffed acorn squash is extra deliciously complex, because the whole grain wild rice (any nice healthy whole grain rice should do) has extra scrumptious dried cranberry bits in it, plus the east Indian dessert pepper spice Garam Masala.

Nutrition Facts
Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash - Stuffed With Cranberry Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 / 4th of recipe)
Calories 568 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Sodium 727mg 30%
Potassium 1617mg 46%
Total Carbohydrates 125g 42%
Dietary Fiber 18g 72%
Sugars 21g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 86.5%
Vitamin C 44.8%
Calcium 17%
Iron 34.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You can buy Garam Masala in the ethnic section of your grocery store.  I have a large bag of it, it goes nicely with fruit as well, like apple slices before bed, or on oatmeal.

Garam masala, cranberries, and acorn squash are a great combo.  Very romantic.

Plus, I’ve stirred some spinach ribbons, and optionally black beans, through this sticky sweet, spicy, rice, making things very much more interesting.

Can You Eat the Skin of Acorn Squash?

I looked it up and people said that the skin of acorn squash is edible if cooked long enough, so I announced this to my family, when serving them, they promptly all said “no thanks”.

Then I proceeded to try some of the skin on my squash, spit it out, and declared it was much too tough.

“Told you so” my husband said.

I would not encourage others to enjoy eating the skin.

Do enjoy the rest though. 🙂

FODMAP rating – without the black beans this recipe is Low FODMAP.  With the black beans, be sure to used canned, eat 1/4 cup or less of the canned beans and it is moderate FODMAP.

vegan garam masala cranberry rice stuffed acorn squash
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Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash - Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Western
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 568 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

Stuffed acorn squash presents well at any family gathering or dinner party, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  The warm, peppery and sweet seasonings pair perfectly with fall and winter weather.

I can't over-emphasize how easy this dish is to make, but makes you look like a fairly accomplished cook.  As long as you have time to cook rice, it will come together 5 minutes after the rice is done.

This vegan no-fat version has dried cranberries, rice, spinach and optionally black beans, so it can easily serve as your entire meal.  

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wild rice or other healthy whole grains, like short grain brown rice, brown basmati rice, or quinoa
  • 4 cups water or as per rice package instructions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup dried cranberries I use Craisins (sweetened)
  • 2 acorn squash small, or 1 large, washed and halved
  • 5 cups spinach finely chopped
  • 398 ml black beans, can small can, optional - if you are serving as a meal rather than a side dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F

  2. Add rice, water, salt, garam masala and cranberries to a pot on high heat.  Bring to a boil, immediately reduce to low simmer, and cook for 45 minutes, or as per rice package instructions.  Check and stir often, to prevent the cranberries from burning.   If the rice is not soft once the water is gone, add more water and cook longer.  The dried cranberries can absorb liquid the rice needs.

  3. Break stem off acorn squashes (if there is one).  Cut in halves.  Scoop out the seeds and strings.  Sprinkle with pepper and salt, place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 - 45 minutes (timing will depend on the size of the squash).    

  4. Once the rice is done, turn off the heat.  Stir chopped spinach into the rice so it 'melts'.

  5. If using, drain and rinse black beans, add to rice mixture.  Let sit for a few minutes to warm the beans.

  6. Once done, remove acorn squash from the oven.  The squash should be soft all the way through.

  7. Spoon spinach, black bean, cranberry, rice mixture into squash, you should be able to pile it quite high, serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Omit the black beans to make this recipe a side dish. 

Goes well with lentil loaf at holidays.

Cut large squash into quarters before serving.

 

Nutrition Facts
Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash - Stuffed With Cranberry Rice
Amount Per Serving (1 / 4th of recipe)
Calories 568 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Sodium 727mg 30%
Potassium 1617mg 46%
Total Carbohydrates 125g 42%
Dietary Fiber 18g 72%
Sugars 21g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 86.5%
Vitamin C 44.8%
Calcium 17%
Iron 34.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

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