Stuffed Butternut Squash
Before I get started on this recipe, my Instructional How to Make a Tamale DVD, is just a few days away from being ready to ship.  If you have always wanted to make tamales and have not attended a class, now is your chance.  In this Instructional DVD, you will learn every step you need to make tamales.  I also added a tamale party that I hosted.  Why you ask?  I think getting together with family and friends during the Holiday Season, to make tamales, is just too much fun.  You will get a sense of the party in this DVD.  Just go to the SHOP button and you will get more information.  (This has not been activated yet)  I will post when it is available.  
We are having a few “bumps” in the “Order on Line” section. If you want to order a DVD, email me and I will send one out to you with an invoice.  
Now for the recipe.  This is a Weight Watcher recipe that I found in this months magazine.  (Another good reason to subscribe).  The mixture would be delicious over a baked sweet potato, yam or  Russet baking potato would be delicious, however you will get much more nutritionally with the yellow and deep orange colors than the white one.  
This is easy easy to make.  I baked the squash in the morning and when it got to room temperature I refrigerated it.  Put a foil cover over the squash.  
The meat mixture goes together very quickly.  As the recipe states, the prep time is 15 minutes and the cooking time is 45 minutes.  If you make the squash earlier in the day,  it would cut back the time 30 minutes.    
1 (1 3/4 pound) butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded (you could also use a table queen squash or any other squash you love
1/4 teaspoon salt (Kosher preferred)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped small
1/2 pound 7% fat ground beef or ground skinless turkey or 1/2 can be hydrated Textured Vegetable Protein  (see note at end of recipe)
1/2 cup drained canned diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 dried Mission fig, stem removed, finely chopped (see note below)
1/4 cup frozen peas.  If you prefer steamed green beans or carrots, use them
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a pan with nonstick spray.  Sprinkle the cut sides of the squash with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Place the squash, cut side down, in the pan and roast until tender, 45 minutes.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet.  Add the onion and cook until tender.  Add the beef and cook until browned.  Add the tomatoes, fig, and remaining salt and pepper; cook until the liquid evaporates.  Add the peas and cook until hot.  Turn the squash cut side up and spoon half the filling into each cavity.
If you prepare as above, each serving has: (1/2 squash with 1 cup filling) 329 calories, 8g fat, 3g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 64mg chol, 444  mg sodium, 41g carb, 6g fiber, 26g protein, 165mg calc.  
VARIATION:  Top each squash with 1/2 tablespoon low-fat mozzarella and 1 teaspoon dried bread crumbs.  Bake 5 minutes.  (Increase points by 1)
TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (TVP) is a soy product.  It looks like dried grape nuts.  You can buy it in granules or chunks.  You add hot broth or water and hydrate the TVP for approximately 20 minutes or when hydrated.  Cook it just like the ground beef in a skillet mixed with the meat.  Available in bulk form at Winco or Sunrise Foods, or Trader Joes.  
MISSION FIGS:  See the picture below.  You find the dried figs in the same place the dried prunes and raisins are.  At Winco you can buy in bulk from the bins.  You can buy just a few if you don’t think you would use them.  They are great chopped and added to salads as well.   The figs add a slight sweetness to the meat mixture.  You could use prunes or raisins.  
A green salad would be really delicious with this.  
Stuffed Butternut Squash
Wednesday, February 21, 2007