Adapted from Mollie Katzen's latest cookbook, "Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen" (HarperStudio, $24.99.
Acorn squash stuffed with apple-almond-cherry basmati pilaf
Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 50 minutes Makes: 4 servings
Adapted from "Get Cooking: 150 Simple Recipes to Get You Started in the Kitchen"
1 cup brown basmati rice
1½ cups water
2 acorn squash (about 2 pounds each), halved, seeded
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Eart Balance Margarine
½ medium red or yellow onion, minced
1/3 cup chopped almonds
¼ teaspoon each: minced garlic, salt
1 apple, unpeeled, cored, chopped
¼ cup dried cherries, halved
Combine the rice and water in a medium-size saucepan. Heat to a boil; cover. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until tender, 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the squash, cut side down, on a greased, foil-line baking pan. Roast until you can easily insert a fork from the skin side, 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add butter; swirl until it melts. Add onions; cook, stirring often, until the onion becomes golden, 10 minutes. Add the almonds; cook, stirring often, until the almonds give off aroma, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Add the onion-almond mixture to the rice in the saucepan; toss to combine. Add the apples and cherries; mix well. Turn the squash halves over. Remove squash from the oven when done. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Divide the rice mixture among the squash cavities, packing down the filling and mounding the top. (Leftover filling can be used as a side-dish-refill component of the meal.) Cover the squash loosely with foil; return to oven. Bake to heat through,10 minutes.
Per serving: 499 calories, 14% of calories from fat, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 104 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein, 159 mg sodium, 19 g fiber