Here we are in Thanksgiving week!! I wish you a most blessed holiday filled with tons of love, whether you are relaxing by yourself, with one other person or 100. Food is of course a big part of this holiday in particular, but you can enjoy yourself without having to completely gorge on everything…fill up your plate with smaller portions the first time around, since you’ll probably want to go back for seconds (let’s be real here :) ).
And to throw in something new and different to share that is also delicious, I wanted to give you this full plant-based, yummy recipe: my Lentil Loaf Stuffed Squash Recipe. Packed with the rich dietary fiber from the lentils, to loads of nutrients from all the veggies and herbs—your belly will be so happy that you won’t even miss the meat!
Lentils have gotten a lot more play in my personal diet now, since I’ve been studying Ayurveda. What I love about lentils is they are high in protein and minerals, and are relatively quick and easy to prepare when compared to other dried beans. They absorb a variety of flavors from other foods (like the veggies in this recipe) and any seasonings (whether dried or fresh). Lentils have high nutritional value and they give us no excuses in creating new recipes, since they are available anytime of the year. I use them in my Warming New Recipe: Sri Lankan Dahl and my Lentil Meatballs!
They are rich in dietary fiber—both the soluble and insoluble type. What’s so cool about soluble fiber is that it forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that will snare bile and carry it out of the body.
The insoluble fiber found in the lentils helps increase stool bulk and prevents constipation (which is an amazing natural colon cleanser!), and also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome… great for detoxification.
You can often find them sold germinated or sprouted in bulk or in bags at health markets, which make them easier to digest and absorb their minerals! If you can’t find them already germinated, no worries…just try to soak them overnight and rinse them well if at all possible before cooking them.
I’m so excited for you check out this yummy recipe as a great alternative/addition for your Thanksgiving spread this year and beyond!
Check out the Lentil Stuffed Squash recipe below…
- 4 medium Acorn squashes
- 1 cup dry green lentils , soaked overnight and rinsed well
- 2½ vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 1 small onion, finely diced (optional)
- 2 carrots, finely diced or grated
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ heaping teaspoon cumin
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Sea salt, to taste
- Cut acorn squash in half. Brush thinly with coconut oil. Roast at 400 degrees until fork tender.
- Heat a large pot of 2½ cups broth and start cooking lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once done, remove lid and set aside to cool-but do not drain. The lentils will thicken a bit upon standing.
- In a pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery
- for about 5 minutes. Add spices mixing well to incorporate. Set aside to cool.
- Combine sauteed vegetables with the lentils and mix well. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed, or any other herb or spice you might like.
- Spoon mixture into squash halves. Top with mushroom gravy.
See below for the Mushroom Gravy recipe…
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or filtered water
- 3 tablespoons organic tamari (preferably low sodium)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until the onions are lightly brown. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are tender.
- Next, add the vegetable broth, tamari and thyme to the mushroom-onion mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
- Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 25 minutes.
- Stir in the arrowroot starch and cook the sauce, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree for a smooth consistency.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the reserved cauliflower and serve at once.
Let me know what you think and don’t forget to add this recipe to your Dinner Recipes Pinterest Board!
Sending you love,