Roasted Acorn Squash

I first gained an interest in acorn squash after a coworker who sent me recipes on occasion showed me one for a roasted version.  Now, I'm crazy for spaghetti squash an throwing yellow squash and zuchinni in dishes, so I had a feeling acorn squash would go over quite well.  I happened to be at the grocery one day and saw acorn squash on sale, so I picked one up.  I ended up setting the recipe aside somewhere, but I had grasped the concept of roasting it already so I had a start.  So since acorn squash is fairly large, I figured this was a great opportunity to cut that bad boy in half, season each side differently, and have the end result be both a side dish and a dessert.  A healthy dessert, at that!


Prepping was simple.  I cut the top and bottom off the squash then sliced it right down the middle.


I then scooped out the seeds and laid the halves on a foil lined pan.  Then, I seasoned one of the halves with a light coat of olive oil, crushed red pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper.  The other got a small amount of pecan oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.  That's right, not a bit of sugar on the sweet one. 


I flipped the squash over, just as I do with spaghetti squash, so that the heat stays inside the concave centers and doesn't dry them out.


I baked it for about 45 minutes, until the squash was fork tender.


Oh man!  Where has acorn squash been all my life?  It was perfect since I set it up and put it in the oven while I made the rest of dinner, saving me steps later on.  The squash had a mashed texture; it was much different than spaghetti squash which shreds.  Now the seasoning worked out well in both halves, which proves this veggie makes a great side or dessert.  I really liked the spicy side, and it worked out to be filling with dinner too. The sweet side was fulfilling as well, and reminded me of a sweet potato in flavor and texture.  And to imagine...a healthy, flavorful dessert with no extra sugar really exists!  I've already got another one on hand for more experimenting, and that always a sure sign I'm hooked.  I'm a squash nut.

Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe

Ingredients: 

1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon pecan oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut top and bottom off squash and cut acorn squash in half.  Spoon out seeds.  Rub half with pecan oil and sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  On the other half, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, and pepper.  Place face down on baking sheet and cook for 45-50 minutes, until fork tender.

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