Meatless Monday-Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Walnuts

000baked-acorn-squash_1One of my favorite foods is acorn squash with brown sugar and walnuts. Squash done this way is my go-to for vegetable deliciousness during the winter months especially, but in the summer too. In the summer, I’m more likely to cook the squash in the roaster, out on the front porch, cuz who wants to fill the house with heat when it’s already hot outside?  Not this girl.

Yep, we bake this way in the hills of NEPA!

I do not grill, but I bet there is a recipe out there for acorn squash on the grill.  I’m sure there is.

This dish is so easy and so very tasty, and it can be done by almost anyone.

Here is my method for roasting the squash in the oven. I’ve never timed it in the front porch roaster, but 35-40 minutes is my usual cook time no matter how I roast it.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut acorn squash(es) in half vertically, from stem to stern (top where the stem grows out of the ground, to the pointy bottom).  Scoop out the seeds and toss them, unless you like to roast them. They are edible, but I don’t bother with roasting them.  Now, on a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.The foil tent helps to steam them, so they are done quicker.

While squash are roasting, prepare the filling you will use to sweeten them (although they don’t really need this step, they are delicious without sugar, too).  Mix together some butter, some brown sugar and some walnut meats; amounts depend on how buttery or sugary you want the end product.  I use less butter and more nuts for mine, and natural sugar instead of brown sugar.  Experiment with a couple squash innards and see how sweet you like yours.  What you add to the mix really depends on what you like.  Raisins, craisins, and dried cherries can be added, as can rice, but remember that then your squash will have added calories.  For that reason alone, I refrain most times.

Plus, hubs doesn’t like raisins or craisins, but he loves him some squash, so I like to make it the way I know he will like it.

Once the time is done for roasting the squash, flip each half over and add some part of the butter/sugar/walnut mixture to the cavity that has been previously salted and peppered.  Put the squash back in the oven for 5 minutes and you’re ready to enjoy a sweet treat that is also good for you.

Note: you probably could use Splenda on the squash to cut the sugar, but I like my acorn squash without artificial sweeteners, and I don’t eat them every day, so I splurge and add the natural sugar crystals to my mix.