My First Stuffed Squash — Happy Dance!

24 Oct

You all know I’ve been trying to eat better – it’s been a slowwwwwwwwwwww process since I’ve only recently began chopping and grilling. But with the tips & support from so my friends, I’ve been assembling lovely dishes with real ingredients. I’ve learned that if I assemble food with ingredients that I like, then chances are it will work just fine.

I’d heard about acorn squash and saw them at the store, so I picked a couple up. (They sat on the counter a few days because I was scared.) Of course the apples are great right now and I had several. I always have nuts (one of my favorite staples.) And my new favorite treat is pomegranate seeds from TJ’s (If you haven’t had them, give them a try — crunchy, sweet goodness & a great topper on grains and salads.) Yes, I had all the ingredients on hand – which is KEY for my eating well (rocket science, eh?).

Tonight’s milestone? My first stuffed squash. Special thanks to my friend Michele at Seasonal Custom Cuisine. She really deserves her very own post — everyone learning how to prepare healthy foods should have their very own Michele as their cooking counselor. And Barb @VinoLuci is amazing and PATIENT! She has tweet coached me through many an adventure in the kitchen, and I am so grateful to her.

Sweet, Crunchy, Tart Fall Goodness (aka Stuffed Acorn Squash)

Ingredients (these are estimates… I’m an assembler, not a cook)

  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 1 TBSP Maple Syrup (or enough to lightly brush the squash)
  • 1 Apple Cut Up – Not sure if it’s chopped or diced or whatever
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts – Chopped or something
  • Cinnamon
  • Smidge of butter
  • Quinoa (I cooked a cup which was WAY too much – but you can never have too much cooked quinoa around, eh?)


  • Cut acorn squash in half, scrape out seeds, brush with a smidge of maple syrup & sprinkle with cinnamon. Roast til done (350 degrees? About an hour I think? Forked it to test for doneness). (Super Tip from Deb @DebRoby – Microwave squash for 5 minutes to make cutting in half easier.)
  • Cook the quinoa
  • Saute apples and walnuts in a smidge of butter (sprinkle with cinnamon)
  • Mix the apples & walnut mixture with quinoa, add in the pomegranate seeds & stuff the squash — VOILA!

I’ve been watching the Mamavation tweeps and have been inspired towards their commitment to clean eating and physical activity. One of the commitments is no sugar. I’m super sensitive to this and am not sure if the maple syrup counts or if it’s specifically processed sugar that folks are avoiding. Either way, I know for me, I have been paying attention to the “non-sugar” “sugars” that we get in foods and how our body processes them.

So in good faith and being the eternal student that I am, I went to the Glycemic Index site to do some comparative research and see how maple syrup compares to other foods in terms of its “sugar”. I also learned that a TBSP of Maple Syrup is about 20 grams ( TYVM @katieheddleston ).

From what I can tell – and I am NOT a professional – both the glycemic index and glycemic load are about the same for a TBSP of maple syrup & a banana. You can interpret and act on that however you like 😉

Food Name GI serve (g) carb/serve (g) GL
Maple flavored syrup (Cottee’s Foods, Australia) 68 25 22 15
Maple syrup, pure Canadian (Queen Foods, Australia) 54 25 18 10
Food Name GI serve (g) carb/serve (g) GL
Banana, raw 47 120 24 11
Banana, raw 62 120 25 16
Banana, raw 46 120 25 12
Banana, raw 49 120 25 12
Banana, raw 58 120 23 13
Banana, raw 58 120 25 15
Banana, ripe (all yellow) 51 120 25 13
Banana, under-ripe 30 120 21 6
Banana, slightly under-ripe (yellow with green sections) 42 120 25 11
Banana, over-ripe (yellow flecked with brown) 48 120 25 12

So are any of you doing anything special with fall squash? I’d love to know! Also, anyone else out there paying a little bit of attention to the glycemic index stuff?

20 Responses to “My First Stuffed Squash — Happy Dance!”

  1. Katie @ Healthy Heddleston October 24, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    This looks delicious! I actually have my first acorn squash sitting on the counter and maybe I’ll stuff it now instead of just slicing and roasting.

    I used to pay attention to GI stuff all the time since I did about 2 years of research in undergrad with a nutrition study comparing a high GI and low GI diet. Such cool things. Australia actually has the most progressive GI research — or at least it did when I was in undergrad.

    • krismoconnor October 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

      Thanks Katie! I gotta say, this was really good. Great combo of yummy stuff and filling too 😉 I would opt for stuffing over slicing – they’re hard to cut! Funny that all the GI stuff has Aussie references – I was wondering about that! Thanks again for your help tonight.

  2. krismoconnor October 24, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    LOL I’m commenting 2 seconds after posting…. Maple syrup? Geesh…. for me, I gotta stay away from those gazillion servings of bread and those darn SNICKERS! In my book, this is all “real” food. I was trying to be sensitive to those avoiding “sugars” and maple syrup certainly counts as that 😉 Hugs all!

  3. gretablau October 25, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    man that looks good!! and it seems like something I can do!! I need to do more research into the maple syrup thing. Supposedly some grades are less processed than others?

    Looks yummy!!! And good for you!!

    • krismoconnor October 25, 2010 at 7:38 am #

      Thanks Greta! Yep – if I can do it – you can do it! What I’ve learned is that I just need good ingredients – yummy stuff I like. Rocket science, eh? If I assemble yumminess, success is likely LOL My maple syrup is the real, one ingredient kind from back east. I would be curious as to some people’s thoughts about using maple syrup tho – I use a drizzle on some salmon – mmmmm! Thanks again Greta ~~

  4. Deb Roby October 25, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    That looks wonderful. And such a filling sweet way to have acorn squash.

    Now I share one of my favorite savory recipes for these little guys:

    Eating Well’s Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squashed. Black beans and a touch of turkey sausage – pure heaven on a winter’s evening:

    • krismoconnor October 25, 2010 at 8:10 am #

      Deb ~ Oh man! That looks GREAT! Bookmarked & on my list — just gotta buy the turkey (I need to have some stocked I think LOL – gosh I’m a ditz). Cumin makes the world go round, eh? Thanks so much!

  5. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle October 25, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    This has all the ingredients I love for fall cooking and now have to put acorn squash on my grocery list too. I feel like a mother hen…and so proud of you.

    • krismoconnor October 25, 2010 at 8:12 am #

      Mother Hen? How about Auntie Barb – the sweet and snarky kind of aunt that loves unconditionally and doesn’t judge at the mess or mistakes ;-))) Thanks so much Barb ~~~

  6. Todd@PhitZone October 25, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Oh that looks goooooood. I love squash. A favorite in our house is Spaghetti squash. Bake it, shred it, mix it with some spaghetti sauce, and viola! If you like your pasta a little on the al dente side, you will like this.

    Thanks for sharing, Kris.

    • krismoconnor October 25, 2010 at 8:30 am #

      I’ve got a big spaghetti squash sitting on my counter…. It sort of scares me, but I’m going to find the courage and COOK IT this week 😉 Thanks for stopping by Todd – I love your stuff!

  7. Rita @ Fitblogger October 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    I love the apple idea! I won’t have thought of that. Ok I am entirely impressed, completely

    • krismoconnor October 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

      Thanks Rita – you are so kind – and if you knew my teary history in the kitchen – you would dance with me! I’ve recently discovered APPLES with dinner lately (I know – scandalous)! I’ve even been throwing them in with other veggies & chicken – they’re sweet, tart, crunchy and very available now. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. spabettie October 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    this looks fabulously delicious… I also love the apple addition (apples + cheddar or apples in salads have always been my favorite).

    I make a big batch of quinoa each Monday to last the week – love Love LOVE it !

    • krismoconnor October 27, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      Seriously – quinoa is the best! I do the same thing with it (a couple times a month) – it works for breakfast, lunch & dinner LOL. I’m not much of a cook, so I’m all about easy breezy and leftovers. Apples & Cheddar? Oh yeah… Cheese and everything right? Thanks again for stopping by!


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