Monday, April 27, 2009

Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

I had such luck the last time I stuffed acorn squash, that I decided to give it another go!

This time, instead of baking the squash in the oven, I microwaved it. There was no difference, except shaving about 45 minutes off the cooking time (and saving lots of electricity) so a convert to microwaving I now am! (And apparently channeling Yoda.)

I also cooked the chicken with different vegetables this time (green peppers), and instead of whole grain rice, used couscous.

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash
1 box of Near East couscous, flavor of your choice (some have whey, others don't)
2 thin sliced chicken breasts, chunked
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted

First, I cut the acorn squash in half and put both halves in the microwave with plastic wrap over the top. I microwaved on high for 8 minutes and they came out juicy and tender. I left them in there until ready to assemble the plates, so they wouldn't get cold.

Next, I prepared the couscous (toasted pine nut flavor) according to package instructions. I also toasted a couple of tablespoons of extra pine nuts in a dry pan for garnish over the top. The pine nuts in the couscous package cook with everything in the pot, so they tend to be more on the mushy side, versus crunchy and nutty.

Last, I chopped up the chicken breasts and green pepper and cooked them in the pine nuts' dry pan, after adding a squirt of Pam. I seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper, but just let them sizzle on medium-high until they had a nice caramel color for most of their flavor.

Once everything was done, I put the half of squash on a plate and filled its cavity with couscous. Over the top, I spooned the chicken and pepper mixture, and garnished with the toasted pine nuts. About half-way through eating, both Johnny and I decided we'd like a little more couscous, so I refilled our squash "bowls" with another spoonful.
I really like the edible bowl that the squash makes. It's nice to grab a little bit of its sweetness in each bite. It also fulfills some child-like "play with your food" urge like the enjoyment of eating your taco salad shell, or tearing pieces of the bread bowl to dunk in your soup.

Nicole at Just Sweet Enough is having her 100th post give-away here! Go check it out, she hand picked tons of great treats that she loves to give-away for the rest of us to try out!

My give-away ends Thursday if you haven't entered already!

Laura at Hey What's for Dinner Mom? tagged me to do this:

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:
1) Summer!
2) riding my bike on the trail
3) walking my dog around the block
4) windows open
5) not wearing a coat to go outside
6) barefeet
7) a tan
8) receiving a regular paycheck again

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1) ate breakfast
2) went to J's parents'
3) ate lunch
4) went to Home Depot
5) went to Menards
6) explored J's parents' barn and pigeon coupe
7) ate dinner
8) watched Amazing Race

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1) Pay off all bills
2) Be motivated to workout
3) wear a bikini-HA! (good one!)
4) Travel to dream destinations
5) Grow a massive veggie garden
6) Finish decorating my new office
7) Go on Amazing Race
8) Go on a cruise

8 Shows I Watch:
1) The Office
2) Castle
3) Dollhouse
4) The Amazing Race
5) All cooking competition shows
6) Project Runway
7) The Hills (guilty pleasure)
8) miss watching Gilmore Girls, Firefly, and Drive! (stupid networks always cancel the good ones)


8 People I Tag:
1) Biggest Diabetic Loser
2) Lucky Taste Buds
3) No Whey Mama
4) One Frugal Foodie
5) Part of the Whole
6) Say Yes to Salad
7) Slim Shoppin'
8) So Much More Than a Mom

7 comments:

Laura said...

Ding dang those look good!

Nowheymama said...

This reminds me, someone else tagged me recently. I'm behind on my memes!

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

I'm tagged!!

Now I have to think of what to say!

Your dinner looks great, I agree about the microwaving part, so much easier!

Sweetie Pie said...

Amused with the Yoda reference, I am. Funny, you are. :-)

Thanks for mentioning my contest!! Thanks for the yummy recipe too. I love squash!

burpandslurp said...

so there really is no difference to microwaved and baked squash? waah! I've been wasting lots of time and energy then!
I love this recipe for how quick and easy and delicious it is! winter squash anything is my fav!

Mara @ What's For Dinner? said...

oooh lovely acorn squashes!

Cyndi said...

I love ALL of your 8 things you're looking forward to!! And why aren't you on a cooking competition show??!!