Rejoice in the Acorn

Get ready to eat one of the best dishes of your life.  "Roasted Stuffed Squash with Almondetta and Spinach." This hearty, sweet yet OH-so savory, creamy-yet-structured dish will make you hum while you eat it, and also impress your neighbors at the next potluck!

This killer vegan recipe comes from the new cookbook "the Veganopolis Cookbook" by David Stowell and George Black.  They used to have the best vegan restaurant in Portland called "Veganopolis" on SW 4th street. Unfortunately for us they decided to move back to Chicago, but at least we get this wonderful cookbook!  No reservations required!

Here's the how-to:

 Squash ingredients

2 acorn squash, halved, seeds and fibrous material scooped out
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 shallots, peeled and very finely diced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/3 c diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 c dry breadcrumbs, divided1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
 1 c /Almondetta (recipe follows)

Almondetta (make first)

2 c almonds, chopped and soaked in hot water for one hour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 c (plus 2 tablespoons for later) water
2 tablespoons agar or arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons bread crumbs
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients (except 2 tablespoons water and agar powder) in a food processor, pulse 3 times
then puree until smooth.
Wisk agar powder and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan), heat until thickened. Add this liquid to the almond mixture, blend, and pout into a glass bowl. Put in refrigerator until needed.


1. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper.

2.Use 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to lightly oil the insides of the squash halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3.Arrange the squash halves face up in the prepared baking dish and roast for 45 minutes.

4.Heat the  remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the diced shallots and saute until softened.

5.Add the oregano, diced red bell pepper, garlic, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs. Saute for a few minutes.

6. Add the chopped spinach. Cook until the spinach is fully wilted and most of the moisture is gone.

7.Stir in the Almondeta. Remove from the heat.

8. When the squash halves are finished roasting, remove the pan from the oven and lower the heat to 350 degrees.

9. Divide the spinach mixture among the squash halves,moundingit up a bit on top with a rounded spoon or scoop. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top.

10. Bake for 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned nicely.

11. Remove the stuffed squash halves from the oven, plate, and serve.

12. Be prepared for bliss.