Stuffed Acorn Squash

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My reasons for working out on a regular basis are wide and varied, but when I put pen to paper cursor to word doc, these 5 reasons rise right to the top:

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1. So I can eat all the glorious, olive oil brushed, prosciutto laced, cheese stuffed paninis from adorable, affordable, accessible new French places in town that I want, dangit!

Some co-workers and I hit up Tartine…an adorable, affordable, accessible new French place in town…for lunch today, and the Prosciutto Panini I ordered was so crispy, I’m certain they heard my first bite down in Texas. I must know how they do this. These are the things that keep me up at night.

2. See #1.

3. For my physical health. Gotta’ keep the ol’ ticker and other vital organs in tip top shape.

4. See #1. For my mental health. I’m not a running is cheaper than therapy! type person, but you can’t argue with a feel-good flow of endorphins brought on by a good sweat sesh. Self made medicine, for the win!

5. So I don’t have to wash my face before bed. No, I know…but it’s true. Having to wash your face before bed is seriously the pits, but if you workout in the evening then take a shower – voila! – no splish-splashing when you’re half asleep at 10pm later that night. Sometimes it’s all I need to think about to push myself into that workout I’m dreading…

Like tonight, for instance. Oooo, that sandwich at lunch was absolutely mouthwatering, but definitely heavier than what I usually devour around noon on a normal day. When 5pm rolled around I was absolutely dragging – feeling heavy and lethargic.

The thought of hunching over the bathtub scrubbing my face in 5 hours, inevitably getting my hair, t-shirt and bathroom floor soaking wet, proved too much to bear though, and was just the push I needed to get out the door for a 4 mile run on the trail.

It was slow, but it was good. And HOT! I don’t think I’ve told you, but we have been rocking 80 degree weather here all week. The Midwest likes to keep you on your toes like that. ;)

Despite the heat, I decided to turn the oven on tonight for dinner featuring a roasted delicacy – Double Stuffed Acorn Squash. I picked up a perky acorn squash at the Farmers’ Market last weekend, and knew exactly what I was going to be doing with it.

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Stuffing it!

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Stuffing it with spicy red wine & cheese infused chicken sausage, a chopped honeycrisp apple (that was hard to sacrifice) and some whole-wheat stuffing mix made moist and extra-flavorful with chicken broth.

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Piled deep and high within the squash that I roasted ’til it was golden brown and oh-so tender,

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then popped under the broiler ’til it was golden brown.

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Each bite of this double stuffed squash – that is, squash stuffed with stuffing – was a new flavor experience.

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The squash was sweet, the apple tart, the sausage spicy and the stuffing savory. It was perfect!

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
Extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 sausage links (can be chicken, turkey or pork – I used Trader Joe’s Red Wine & Cheese Chicken Sausage)
1 small apple, peeled and chopped into 1/4″ cubes
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1/2-5oz box Stove Top stuffing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce acorn squash several times with a knife, then place on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 2 minutes. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, then microwave for 1 additional minute.
  2. Lay squash halves on a baking sheet, skin side down, then brush with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the thickest part of the squash goes in easily.
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, remove sausage from casing and sauté with apples until sausage is cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to cook until apples are soft but not mushy, ~3-4 more minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup chicken broth to keep apples from burning.
  4. In a separate, small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup chicken broth to a boil. Pour in half the box of stuffing, stir, then place a lid on top and turn the heat off. Allow the pan to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff stuffing with a fork.
  5. Combine stuffing with sausage & apple mixture then mound onto cooked acorn squash halves. Place under the broiler until stuffing is golden brown on top.

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This dinner was light, yet filling, and will make for some really great leftovers too.

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Off to get the rest of this ready for bed process taken care of. Tooth brush – you’re next! ;)

See ya’!

~~~~~

What is your #1 reason for working out?

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Comments

  1. erica 10.05.2011

    my #1 reason would be the same as yours! =)

  2. So I can eat a crap ton of food and wash it down with a beer.

  3. All great reasons… but esp #1!

  4. Lauren 10.05.2011

    Haha, I love your reason for not washing your face at night. I work out every day mainly for my own sanity but also so I feel okay about eating whatever the hell I want. I could NEVER diet or count calories but I know i have enough motivation to get in a good workout every day. Plus I know how great I feel after every single one.

  5. Haha—I am definitely the same way about washing my face! And in the winter, when I have to take off my sweatshirt to do it and strip down just to a T-shirt so my sleeves don’t get wet, I’m shivering and it’s extra miserable. :)

  6. Mer @mersworld 10.05.2011

    Working out= wine w/o the guilt!

    Love the reasons! And, that acorn squash looks yummy… I picked one up this weekend and was trying to come up with a good recipe! Thanks for providing one!

  7. Melissa 10.05.2011

    Oh dear. I am #4. But #1 for sure, too.

    The squash looks delectable. I’m planning something similar with apples, caramelized onions, and sausage. YUM! I give you major credit for sacrificing a honeycrisp. I’ve got to go buy an granny smith or something for cooking. I have strict rules about honeycrisps.

  8. Iowamom 10.05.2011

    That squash looks amazing! I workout because I truly love it. I always have and have built my jobs around exercise. I was a personal trainer, aerobics instructor in the early to mid 90’s, and a PE teacher before becoming a SAHM. It’s so fun to get out there and move! I would recommend cutting the carbs at lunch to skip that mid-afternoon slump. It’s helped me tremendously.

    Hard to believe that the weather this week has been warmer than some days in Sept. It’s a beautiful fall in Iowa!

  9. Meghan 10.05.2011

    #1 for sure! That squash recipe looks amazing- especially on a chilly, rainy day like today. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Dani 10.05.2011

    For my sanity, and to balance out the occasional transgressions into those higher calorie, less than zero nutritional value goodies :)

    I’m new here (great blog. BTW) so I also wanted to say thanks for the awesome sounding squash recipe, it’s been added to the “TRY ME” list!

  11. my #1 reason is DEFINITELY dessert. i eat a pretty indulgent dessert, guilt free, almost every night! bypassing a face wash, though, is up there!

  12. Stephanie 10.05.2011

    I TOTALLY agree with you about washing your face before bed…I love when I workout and take a shower at night…it makes my bed time ritual so much better!

  13. Leslie Means 10.05.2011

    What a good idea! I usually just throw in a bunch of brown sugar and butter and cook mine for dessert. This sounds like a great change of pace!!

  14. Kim 10.05.2011

    I am so glad I am not the only one that drowns the bathroom and myself in the process of washing my face.

  15. I love working out for how it makes me feel! It makes me feel strong and empowered and GOOD.

    Also, is it thanksigivng time yet? Because I am now craving stuffing like woah!

  16. Washing your face before bed is the worst…especially in the winter when you’re cold and all you want to do is get snuggled into bed.

  17. I work out for my own sanity. I can definitely tell when I’ve had a few days in a row that are lacking in activity. I just don’t feel as great, mentally or physically.

  18. Mmmm, that looks fantastic! I am so with you on #5, it’s so great to be able to hop into bed all clean and fresh without having to pull on a headband (I have long hair) and get all soapy before bed.

  19. JennyV 10.05.2011

    I workout simply b/c I love moving my body! I honestly feel restless if I haven’t worked out and am forced to sit most of the day.

    Sounds like Tartine was great — I’d JUST heard of it this week!

  20. Jacki Noel 10.05.2011

    Chocolate…nuf said!

  21. Lindsey 10.05.2011

    For my health! Physical and mental :) I also like it when I can shower after a workout and wash my face so I don’t have to before bed!

  22. WendyG 10.05.2011

    Exercise for me is MOST importantly definately for my mental clarity and self worth! You have to take care of you first before you can take care of those you love.
    A VERY close second would be all sweets!!!!!!!!! Lately for me that has been Lemon Tree! Holly buckets this frozen yogurt is to die for! Red velvet cake, carrot cake, chocolate, REESES PB cup, and many more flavors in the form of fro yo…..pure genius!!!!! Not to mention it is help yourself buffet style so ummmm……..PERFECTION!!!!!!!

    Shucks…..I think I may need to go there now!!!!

  23. Sarah 10.05.2011

    First, I LOVE your blog.

    Second, I am having trouble understanding this washing your face in the bathtub at night issue… I just wash mine at the sink…. Am I missing something? :)

  24. My #1 reason to workout is to try to keep up with your yummy mouthwatering recipes! I’m not even a squash person but dang it, you mesmerized me again!

  25. Amanda 10.05.2011

    To eat cake and frosting — and any and all other sweets. It is a weakness so working out is a necessity.

  26. Gina 10.05.2011

    I started working after I started reading your blog- you made it sound so rewarding! Now I actually look forward to it.
    Ps-honeycrisp sale @ hyvee!

  27. Karla 10.05.2011

    SO hard to pick just one! Can I have two reasons? If so, I’d totally say for mental health and to feel strong and healthy. There is nothing better than feeling like you can go out and take on the world—both mentally and physically! All of your reasons are spot on :)

    The stuffed squash looks (and Tartine sounds) amazing. Yum!

  28. Dawn Marie 10.05.2011

    I work out because if you don’t use it, you lose it and I want to be stronger in my old age!

  29. If I didn’t work out….I’d be 900 lbs!! It definitely keeps the weight in check.
    Love your plates…too cute!

  30. Amy 10.05.2011

    I definitely am with you on #1-#4, but honestly I LOVE washing my face at the end of the day!

  31. My number one reason for working out is to help with the stress of college life, and ofcourse helps so when I overindulge on the weekends:) that panini sounds amazing and the stuffed acorn squash looks so delicious!

  32. Jess S 10.05.2011

    One word – dessert!! :-)

  33. Angie 10.06.2011

    All smart reasons for working out! I’ll be honest, I hate the gym. But, I have discovered a love for hot yoga…so much so that I show up to the studio EARLY. I’m with you on the mental health part :)

  34. Kim 10.06.2011

    I like to exercise in the late afternoon as well. I also like showering after that because it makes mornings so easy. Added bonus – I don’t have to use that dang hair dryer and can let my hair air dry.

  35. Teresa K. 10.06.2011

    So the Dr’s don’t yell! LOL!

  36. VeggieGirl 10.06.2011

    That is tooo funny- I had the SAME thought about working out and eating just the other day!! “I workout….so that I can indulge in all my foodie behaviours”

    Seriously- my man and I are planning a long weekend and the thing we both get most excited about, more than the camping or sights is the new resteraunts we research before the trip! We send eachother emails with links saying things like “All vegetarian Indian place with fresh hot samsoas” or “check out the vegan velvet cake on this link, lets stop here!!” hehe….so we NEED to work out!!

  37. Brie 10.06.2011

    That’s so strange…I made this meal last night w/ slight variations based off your post last year! I added some dried cranberries right before popping under the broiler, which definitely did not suck :)

  38. Angie 10.06.2011

    Right now – my motivation for working out is to fit into and look awesome in my wedding dress.
    My general motivation for working out is to stay healthy, sane, and continue to eat like a young boy!

  39. I am SO with you!

    If I run/bike/swim I sure as heck deserve more than one little piece of my own apple pie…and vanilla bean ice cream…in one sitting ;)

    Love the recipe too! I go a little squash-crazy this time of year, and the husband will appreciate a little variety.

  40. Terri 10.06.2011

    I totally get what you are saying about washing your face at night! I hate doing that…especially when I’m tired and right before bed and I sooooo enjoy the opportunity to wipe of my makeup and wash my face right in the shower! I’m with you on that one! :-)

  41. Christa 10.06.2011

    Lol at #1 and #5

  42. My #1 reason for working out is my health. I also love the muscles I get, and the sense of accomplishment.

    I workout in the morning, though, so washing my face at night is a definite. I just keep a washcloth on the counter to wipe up any water I splash all over.

  43. Allison 10.06.2011

    I have some acorn squash right now, and I have been trying to decide what to do with it. Definitely might try this recipe.

    My #1 reason for working out is that I like a good challenge. I try to push myself past the point where I am comfortable. I’m always looking to improve strength & endurance.

  44. To stay healthy!

  45. Sarah 10.06.2011

    i got super excited when i don’t have to wash my face before bed because i worked out and showered too! the simple things in life!

  46. anne 10.06.2011

    Haha! I totally agree with all of your reasons but #5 is the best! I agree 100% with that.

  47. Leigh 10.06.2011

    So there’s someone else in this world who enjoys the benefit of not having to wash your face before bed because you already did it in the shower after your workout! Whew! It’s so nice to have that checked off my bedtime to-do list. Makes after-work workouts ALMOST a little easier with that in mind. :-)

  48. Michelle 10.06.2011

    That’s hilarious; I love taking showers at night sometimes for that reason exactly! I splash water everywhere (how does that happen!? I’m so careful!) and can never truly get all the makeup gook out of my eyes. Glad to see I’m not the only one! :)

  49. Madelyn 10.06.2011

    Am I the only one wondering why you wash your face in the tub and not the sink??

  50. Lindsey 10.06.2011

    I definitely agree with your reasons… I am very motivated by icing and cake. :) We must be on the same wavelength. I wrote about stuffed acorn squash earlier today. So yummy!

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