Teriyaki Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have most recently discovered my love for squash. It is yummy, comforting, filling, flavorful and versatile. I could eat squash everyday for two weeks, and have a different kind every day if I wanted. Winter Squash such as Carnival, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Butternut and Acorn have been suddenly appearing in my kitchen more frequently. In the past I tended to avoid squash. In my carb-conscious calorie-counting days squash scared me. Why? I have no clue to be honest. Possibly because I associated it with starchy and filling carbohydrates. Possibly because I thought I’d rather spend my calories on other foods. Possibly because I was misinformed. So sad. Nowadays I look at squash as an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. It’s also so darn versatile that I never really get bored with it.

Here’s the nutritional breakdown for one of my favorites, acorn squash.
Serving size: 1/2 acorn squash
Calories: 115, Total Fat: .3g, Total Carbohydrate: 30 g, Dietary Fiber: 9g, Protein: 2.3 g
Nutrients: very high in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, also high in magnesium and Vitamin B6

So why on earth did I ever avoid such a nutritious vegetable? I guess I couldn’t tell you for sure, but at least those days are gone. Don’t be intimidated by this thick-skinned veggie, because under that skin is some serious flavor.
Tonight I made stuffed acorn squash and this is what I whipped up. (Initial idea inspired by Happy Herbivore’s Hawaiian Chic Pea Teriyaki).

Teriyaki Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash Bowls
1 can organic garbanzo beans (or 1 c. soaked and cooked dried bean)
1 c. frozen edamame beans, thawed
1 med. yellow pepper
1 small sweet onion
1/2 cut carrots, chopped
1 acorn squash
1 1/2 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 cup pre-cooked brown rice
1 Tbs. coconut oil

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 c. Tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 Tbs. Sriracha hot sauce
1 Tbs. organic brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger

**Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Cut your acorn squash in half, very carefully, using a large chef’s knife. Here are some great tips for prepping acorn squash. 
2. Remove seeds and place squash halves upside down onto baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Bake in the oven for approximately 60 min. or until flesh is soft.
3. Combine wet ingredients for sauce in mixing bowl, whisk together and set aside.
4. In another bowl combine garbanzo beans and edamame. Pour teriyaki sauce on top and soak while you prepare the veggies.
5. Chop up veggies and add to saute pan on med/high heat with 1 Tbs. coconut oil. **you can use any high-heat tolerant oil but the coconut gives it a nice flavor. Cook until veggies begin to soften.
6. Add teriyaki-soaked beans along with a portion of the sauce into the saute pan.

5. Saute on med/high heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the sauce evaporates and the beans and veggies begin to caramelize. Add rice and sesame seeds and stir to incorporate.

I only had about 1/2 c. cooked brown rice on hand but I recommend using at least a cup to give the dish more texture and flavor.
6. When squash is cooked, remove from oven and add teriyaki bean stuffing. Pair with a nutritious greens salad and enjoy!

This dish was a big hit with non-veggie family members including my omni-boyfriend who gobbled his up while muttering “this is the best thing you’ve made all week” between mouth fulls and shortly after asking for seconds. Score! Way to get your fiber babe ;)

The sweetness of the teriyaki combines wonderfully with the natural sweetness of the squash, and the sesame seeds give it that perfect crunch. Thank you Happy Herbivore for inspiring me with your Hawaiian Chic Pea Teriyaki. :) I think that is my favorite thing about cookbooks… not only are you getting all of the ideas and recipes in the book but you are also getting inspiration to do so much more. Love it. 

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