I’ve got a ridiculously easy recipe for chili stuffed acorn squash today! Especially if you haven’t used up the chili yet from your Vegan Cuts snack box :).
Things in Baltimore are, well, really cold. When a nor’easter comes through, Baltimore usually gets sloppy seconds. Meaning, up in New York and Boston the kids are getting snow days and down here it’s just super slushy.
With that in mind, Thursday night at around 6 when I left work, I had to make a decision – leave my bike at work and take a bus home, or brave the weather. It was snowing quite a lot, but none of it was sticking so I decided to just bike it and get a little snow in my eyes.
Very bad decision. Around when I had about 2 miles left to go, the temperature dropped by almost 15 degrees and the snow started sticking and accumulating fast. Before I knew it, I was at the fun little part of my ride where I go up two unlit switchbacks on the Jones Falls Trail, and there were 2 inches of snow and counting. At this point, bicycling was untenable so I hopped off (at least, I think I did – couldn’t really feel my legs anymore :)). The next mile was a thoroughly unenjoyable mix of cold puddles, random patches of ice, tons of snow, and frozen eyelashes.
When I finally made it to the door of our apartment at 7, my partner J was waiting for me with Chipotle (have I told you that he’s amazing?), completely with the new sofritas (braised tofu) and I almost forgot that I was grumpy and cold. With full tummies, we then spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up the now-melted muddy snow that my bike had deposited around our apartment.
The moral of the story? There are 2. 1) Check the dang weather forecast before bicycling to work in the winter. 2) Chipotle makes everything better.
Probably the best part of all of this, though, was that yesterday I got my first-ever Adult Snow Day. Baltimore kind of shuts down when we have a severe weather event because they only happen every couple of years, so my boss let us all work from home. Coding in my sweatpants all day reminded me of college, hehe.
Because I was still shivering a little from my snow encounter, and it’s still around 20 degrees outside, I needed a super warm and comforting lunch for my Adult Snow Day. Chili stuffed acorn squash fits the bill! Like I mentioned above, I used the Meatless Select Five Bean Chili that came in the most recent Vegan Cuts snack box. I liked it a lot! It does have wheat in it, though, but many other brands do not. We added some cayenne pepper, because we like it to burn a little bit :). Another canned chili that is pretty wholesome & good tasting is Amy’s Organic Spicy Chili, which I have been able to buy at my ordinary supermarket.
The spiciness of the chili with the sweetness of the acorn squash is a really satisfying combination. Any chili will do! Just for fun, here are a few vegan (or pretty much vegan) chili recipes that have caught my eye:
Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa from FatFree Vegan
Slow Cooker Poblano White Chili from Potluck at Oh My Veggies
Chorizo Chili with Black Beans from The Vegetarian Ginger
Peanut Butter Chili from Eating Bird Food
Hope your week has been a little warmer than mine!
Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash , halved and seeded
- 1 tb . brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1/4 c . plain , unsweetened nondairy milk, divided
- salt & pepper
- 1 c . prepared chili of choice
- fresh cilantro , for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill an ungreased loaf pan or roasting pan with about an inch of tap water.
Score the top of the acorn squash halves with a sharp knife and gently rub the brown rice syrup onto the surface. Put about 2 tablespoons of nondairy milk in the well of each of the squash halves. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the squash.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until nearly soft, then add about 1/2 cup of chili to each half of squash.
Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until chili is hot and squash is cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro if desired, and serve immediately.
Recipe NotesThe water in the bottom of the pan is used to keep the peel and interior of the squash from drying out. It only needs to be about an inch of water - more water might cover too much of the squash and increase the time it takes to cook.
Cutting an acorn squash in half is easiest if you have a heavy-duty chef's knife, because you want to cut it vertically straight through the stem. If you're having trouble getting through the stem, just slice as close to it as you can. It's okay if the squash halves aren't perfectly equal in size, as it's difficult to overcook.