Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 1 - Rice, Lentil, Spinach, and Mushroom stuffed Acorn Squash

Today kicks off the Vegan Month of Food, and I've commited myself to a few things that I hope to manage through all month.

My weekday meals are usually nothing to wild or crazy, I try to keep them down to 30-45 minutes tops, since I already work a very full time job.  Lately I've gotten into stuffing a pot full of random fridge finds into a squash, so this evening I did a fridge raid, grabbed some various odds and ends that looked close to death, and got to cooking.  What I ended up with is this:

Its a Brown Rice, Lentil, Spinach and Mushroom stuffed squash.  Let me break down how it went together.

In your Rice Cooker or your preffered rice cooking vessel, combine:

  • 1/2c Brown Rice (I used a short grain)
  • 1/2c Lentils (I used brown since it was open)
  • 1tsp Better Than Boillion (Or just use Veggie Stock/Broth)
  • 2.5c Water (adjust to your preference, I like mine a bit Al Dente for this use)

While that is cooking, I grabbed  and prepped the following:

  • 1/2 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 Bell pepper, Diced (I used Orange)
  • 1/2c chopped mushrooms (I had some button mushrooms handy)
  • Handfull of Baby Spinach - about 3/4 Cup
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Cloves (pinch)
  • 1/4c Broth, White Wine, Water, etc
  • 2-3tbsp Milled Flax Seed.

  • 1 Acorn Squash - Halfed, Seeded, Salt and Peppered, and then Olive Oiled

  • 1/4c Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 3tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil

For the Squash:
Being a Monday, we are all about shortcuts.  If you prefer, you can just put your squash halves into a microwave save dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 12 minutes.  Alternatively, you can pop them in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until fork tender (Don't use plastic wrap in the oven... that would be bad.)

For the Stuffing:

When your rice has about 10 minutes left to go, put your frying pan on medium and let it warm up. I'm lazy so I always use a rice cooker, have for 6 years now, so I can't advise on proper cooking times for your Rice and Lentils, but I would guess 30-40 minutes. Just assume you are making 1c worth of brown rice, and time accordingly.

  1. Add some oil to your hot pan (I used grape seed, olive is good also) to coat, drop in your onion and let it saute for about 2 minutes.  
  2. Next throw in the bell pepper and let it cook for 3 more minutes.  Toss/Stir every minute or so to avoid burning anything.  
  3. Add in your mushrooms and give it a minute or so
  4. Lower your heat now to low then add in your liquid of choice, stir, and drop the spinach on top. Give it a good 30 seconds, then stir in the spinach gently.  
  5. Once your spinach is wilted and cooked down, and assuming you have impeccable timing (Or a rice cooker that has a 10 minute warning like I do) your rice and lentils should be just finishing.  Add them to the pot and stir to combine.  Add in your Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves, and a little salt and pepper.  
  6. At this point I had a fairly moist concoction, if yours is a bit dry, add a bit more liquid. For binding I added in some Milled Flax Seed.  This took up the remaining moisture and brought it together into a nice stuffing consistency.

The bread crumbs are just a mix of panko and nutritional yeast, along with a little olive oil to make it all stick together.  The ratio is roughly 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 3tbsp Nutritional yest, and 1-2tbsp on Olive Oil.

Spoon in the Rice Lentil Spinach and Mushroom mixture into your Squash, cover with the bread crumb mixture, and pop under the broiler for 1.5 minutes or so to brown.  Since everything goes together hot, its now ready to eat!

Hope you enjoy a little insight into my lazy vegan weekday meal.  If you have a half left over like I did, I let it cool so that I can handle it.  Using a spoon I scooped around the edges, then was able to peel off the rind leaving just a squash bowl.  This will be easier to break apart and microwave the following day for lunch.  Also if you have some extra stuffing, mix it with the extra bread crumbs, and its good as a side or in a wrap w/ veggies.

For anyone Curious, my other objectives for the Month of November besides Blogging for Vegan MoFo,

  1. No dirty dishes in the sink at days end and no Dishwasher all month. (If I can do this, I may pull my dishwasher out, put it in storage, and move my wine chiller into the kitchen)
  2. Practice Guitar 4-5 days a week, and don't just stare at it on its stand wishing I knew how to play better.
  3. Meditate daily.
  4. Use my lonely gym membership. 



  1. Thanks for sharing your squash recipe. The food looks delicious! I like the idea behind your blog and admire your objectives--both the objectives themselves and the fact that you are committing yourself to manage them. :)