Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash

Carnival squash. Have you heard of it? I had never! It came to me on a chilly, leafless and blustery day, neatly packed in my CSA box. Speckled, mostly green and yellow, with odd pools of vibrant orange marked it's skin. Carnival squash is probably most akin to acorn squash, but delightfully unique in its own way. 

This little guy is lovingly filled with only the most scrumptious of autumn goodies. Honeycrisp apples, earthy sage, crunchy pepitas, silky red chard, Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Grain-Meat Sausage, and pumpkin. Oh yes, we are now filling winter squash with pureed pumpkin.

This is how the pros do it. 

Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world
— Anne Frank
Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.
Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.
Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.

You guys are going to love this squash! This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.

Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.
Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.

Sage Stuffed Carnival Squash

This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 carnival or acorn squash, halved
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • 1 Smoked Apple Sage Field Roast Grain-Meat Sausage link, diced.
  • 4 large kale or swiss chard leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1/2 15oz. canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. pepitas

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place face down on a baking sheet coated with a nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 425 F for about 30-40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large rimmed frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium low. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Now, stir in the salt, pepper, and sage. Add the apple, sausage, and kale. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well to combine. Stir occasionally while over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. The apples should be softened but not cooked through. Remove from heat to rest, until the squash is done baking.
  5. When squash is done, keep the oven on, and divide the stuffing evenly between each squash half filling the center. Place back in the oven for about 3 minutes to heat through.
  6. Serve hot.
Produce On Parade - Stuffed Sage Carnival Squash - This is an easy and impressive festive squash stuffed with apples, kale, pumpkin, and vegan sausage. It’s the perfect star or companion of any Thanksgiving dinner.

Dutch Word of The Day

Stuffed --> gevuld (who-feld)

Good Deed of The Day

Milk. It does the body bad. Real bad. A new study from the British Medicine Journal "...found that those who drank three glasses of milk daily were more likely to die of heart disease and cancer. For the women, milk drinkers had a significant better chance of suffering a hip fracture." Yikes. Maybe it's time to switch to one of the other thousand non-dairy options, yea?

Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque

This soup is pure love. Love of squash. Love of Fall. Love of whatever you like.

I tend to favor acorn squash for smooth soups over butternut squash for a couple of reasons. One; butternuts always tries to kill me when I'm trying to crack them open and two; acorn squash has a more developed flavor when roasted compared to butternut. Did I mention that the little green guys are a lot easier to work with?

Poor little acorn squashes all forlorn and neglected in favor of trendy butternut or snazzy spaghetti squash. Not 'round these parts. This soup delicately showcases acorn squash in all it's glowing glory. Todd and I ate the entire pot in one night, that is how amazing this soup is. I plan to make it for thanksgiving too, which is a coveted recipe spot!

Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.

A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off. I prefer my soups probably thicker than most, but this can be thinned easily with a bit of additional water.

Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
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Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque
A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off. A delight for Thanksgiving!
Ingredients
  • 2 acorn squashes (about 3-4 lbs. total)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • dash of kosher salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
Instructions
Microwave both whole squashes on high for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice in half lengthwise. Preheat oven to 450 F and coat a baking sheet with a nonstick cooking spray. Scoop out the seeds from the squashes and discard. Place the four squash halves face-side down on the sheet and cover loosely with aluminium foil. Bake at 450 for about 20 minutes, until very tender.Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium low. Add the diced onion and sauté until fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Add the fresh herbs and sauté for a few additional minutes. Now, add in the remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil. Carefully scoop out the flesh from the cooked squash and allow to lightly boil for about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and transfer the soup to a blender. Blend on high, allowing steam to escape the lid, until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thicken to desired consistency. Serve hot.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.
Produce On Parade - Herbed Acorn Squash Bisque - A perfectly creamy, fall soup that’s incredibly delicious. It’s quite easy to prepare and mostly hands-off.

Dutch Word of The Day

Soup --> Soep  (pronounced the same actually)

Good Deed of The Day

Doctors from Government General Hospital announced at a scientific conference in Vancouver, Canada that they have recently uncovered, "when meat or fish is cooked directly over fire, it gets covered with cancer-causing carcinogens, making it more dangerous than even smoking or consumption of alcohol, surgical gastroenterologist Dr S M Chandramohan said". Yikes! Just one more reason to steer clear of meat, yo. Read more here. Que "The More You Know" chime...

Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Do you ever feel fancy pants? Sometimes I do. Like if I go to the grocery store wearing something besides scrubs. If I rent a foreign film or wear shoes out other than boots or garden clogs. Brandishing a statement necklace (I have but one and you can bet I brandish it). Sometimes classy food can make me feel pretty snooty too.  Today's recipe is one classy dish indeed and definitely raised the stylish-food bar in our home. If you're in the need to impress guests or just want to sophisticate your palate (mine is très sophistiqué...okay, maybe not), then this is the perfect dinner for you. Honestly though, it's pretty good on a Friday night in yoga pants too. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Sweet sage cashew cream blends with silky polenta as a fluffy bed for perfectly caramelized balsamic onions and portobello mushrooms.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos 

Serves 3

  • Onions & Portobellos:
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large portobello cap, halved and sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Cashew Cream:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 3 fresh sage leaves (1 Tbsp. chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • pinch of salt
  • Polenta:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry polenta
  • pinch of salt

Notes: Careful not to let the onions burn while caramelizing. Low heat is required, don't try to rush it. It should take about 30-40 minutes. 

Begin by soaking the 1 cup of cashews in fresh water (enough to cover) in a medium bowl.

To cook the onion and mushroom, melt the butter in a large frying pan or cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute for about 10 minutes, then add the portobello. Saute for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the onions are significantly shrunken and the onions have caramelized to a dark brown. Brown bits will accumulate on the bottom of the pan (this is called "fond"), but when the pan is deglazed it will come right off. However, if think it be starting to burn remove the pan from heat. Caramelizing takes a long time, so don't rush it. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

When they appear caramelized, stir in a pinch of salt and black pepper. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, scraping up the fond. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a blender. Add in the remaining cashew cream ingredients. Blend on high until very smooth and set aside.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

In a large saucepan, bring the water for the polenta to a boil over high heat. Add in the polenta while stirring as well as a pinch of salt. Continue to stir very often until smooth and all the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. 

Add the cashew cream to the polenta and stir well to incorporate until clump-free. 

Serve hot as a bed of polenta, topped with the caramelized onions and portobellos.

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

Garnish with fresh sage. 

Produce On Parade - Creamy Sage Polenta + Caramelized Onions and Portobellos

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German Word of The Day: Mushroom --> Pilz (pronounced: pills)

Good Deed of The Day: Today, I encourage you to simply wish yourself well, wish yourself happiness, and wish yourself free from suffering. That 's what I learned in my meditation today!

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