This simple Stuffed Butternut Squash with Tempeh is healthy comfort food at its best! Flavorful, satisfying, and it also happens to be a very pretty dish thanks to all of the colors and textures.
I can still vividly remember perusing my favorite local bookstore a few years ago and coming across the Clean Food and Clean Start cookbooks by Terry Walters. I initially picked them up because I was drawn to their simple, thoughtful design aesthetic, and as I flipped through the pages, I thought: this is totally my kind of food. Clean Food and Clean Start both have permanent places on my small kitchen cookbook shelf. When I found out Terry was publishing a third book, Eat Clean Live Well, I knew I needed to add it to my collection.
Similar to her previous works, Eat Clean Live Well is a continuation of simple, whole foods recipes divided into sections according to season, and with an emphasis on eating local. I love that Terry kept the same minimalist layout as her other cookbooks, and I especially appreciate that not only are all 175 vegan and gluten-free recipes organized into categories for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter (making it very easy to find meals that utilize in-season produce and fit the current weather), but Terry also begins each section with “Clean Living” advice—moving outside and Farmer’s Markets in Spring, vitamin D and the sun in Summer, fostering a strong immune system in Fall, and self care and planting seeds in Winter, among others. This is more than a cookbook.
Naturally, I had a difficult time deciding which recipe to share with you. However, because I’m still solidly rooted in a butternut squash phase after learning how to quickly peel and cut one, the Stuffed Butternut Squash with Tempeh seemed like an excellent choice. Like all of the recipes in Eat Clean Live Well, this one has a simple and nourishing ingredient list, yet manages to be packed with flavor (one of the many benefits of eating in-season!). It also happens to be a very pretty dish that would make a deliciously satisfying addition to your Thanksgiving table.
- ¼ cup uncooked wild rice
- ¼ cup uncooked brown basmati rice
- 11/2 cups water or vegetable stock
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 8 ounces tempeh
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Seeds from ½ pomegranate
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the wild and basmati rice in pot or rice cooker with water or stock and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed (about 45 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cut the squash lengthwise so that you have one piece that is more than half (about two-thirds) and the other about one-third. Scoop out and discard seeds, and rub the larger piece with 1⁄2 teaspoon of olive oil. Place flesh-side down on prepared baking sheet. Peel the other piece and cut it into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread in a single layer on the second baking sheet. Roast both for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallots and garlic in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the celery and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Crumble the tempeh and add it to the pan. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and maple syrup and pour over the tempeh. Fold to combine and continue sautéing to heat through.
- Fluff the grain and add it to the tempeh mixture. Fold in the pepper flakes, cubed squash and parsley. Scoop out the roasted squash leaving 1⁄2-inch of squash plus the shell. Fill the squash with the stuffing, allowing it to overflow generously. Top with pomegranate seeds, slice into 4 equal portions, and serve.
Recipe reprinted by arrangement with Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Copyright © 2104 Terry Walters. Book cover photo by Julie Bidwell, all other photography by Aaron Scott.