Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn on a Plate: Pumpkin Bulgur Stuffed Acorn Squash

What's bulgur you ask? Why it's a whole grain that's high in fiber and rich in B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. Read all about it here.

I was having guests over last Saturday night, so I spent the day cooking up a storm. Lucky for me, my experiments in the kitchen worked out well. So well, in fact, that I believe this is one of the best recipes I have ever "created" (if a recipe can ever really be "created" with so many zillions of recipes already in existence).

I'll definitely be making this one again for Thanksgiving. It would make a fabulous main course for the Plant-strong!

I could have used brown rice for this recipe, and you can too if you don't feel like running out and getting yourself some bulgur. But bulgur has a lot more going on nutritionally, and, well, it's just way more interesting to make a bulgur stuffed squash than a rice stuffed squash. I'm all about the interesting!

HGK's Pumpkin Bulgur Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 8 as a main course-16 as a side dish

Printable Recipe

1 3/4 cups uncooked bulgur
3 1/2 cups water
4 acorn squash, cut in half from stem to base, seeds and membrane removed
2 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 large Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, finely diced
6 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts, chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup (or less if you want it less sweet)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt (or not)
additional maple syrup for brushing onto squash

Place uncooked bulgur and water in a rice cooker and turn rice cooker on (or follow package directions for bulgur).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking oil spray. Place acorn squash cut side down and bake for 30 minutes.

When bulgur is done cooking, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, from pumpkin to salt (optional). Stir to incorporate all ingredients. (Taste it-it's amazing!)

After acorn squash halves are done baking, lightly brush each cut side and cavity with maple syrup.
Press the pumpkin bulgur mixture into each cavity, mounding filling as much as possible. Depending on how large the squash are, you may end up with some leftover bulgur mixture, which makes an amazing side dish by itself.

Return squash halves to cookie sheets and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for at least 30 minutes or until squash flesh is thoroughly soft. Keeping these in a warm oven (200 or 250) after they bake and before you are ready to serve them will only improve their taste and texture.

Have you ever used bulgur (aka bulgar) in a recipe? Have you used any unusual whole grains lately? What were your results?


JL goes Vegan said...

I love bulgar! Wendy, this recipe is gorgeous. Might have to be featured on my Thanksgiving menu this year!

I make 2 - 4 grains a week (usually two dishes, mixed grains) This week I've been enjoying a brown rice - buckwheats groat mix that I made in the rice cooker. I add it to lunch or dinner bowls with beans and veggies. Mmm Mmm.

Chris said...

If you like pumpkin, this dish is a MUST.


Lori said...

Yum! I may try it with a wheat-free grain. I love Fall:)

Randy Solganik said...

This was one of the best dishes you have ever made, Wendy. Very tasty.

Bonnie said...

I'm starting to collect ideas for Thanksgiving and definitely want to try this out. Sounds wonderful. I have a bulgur stuffed pepper recipe that I make. My daughter recently made a dish that was served over millet which was new to me. There are so many options besides rice and pasta!

monami said...

Looks great!

Katy said...

Looks delicious!

Have you ever made something like this in a casserole form? I will be traveling to Thanksgiving dinner this year and would like a more portable version, any suggestions?


Alexandria Lewis said...

My husband introduced me to bulgar. When he makes a pot of brown rice he puts bulgar in it :-) and I have had on occasion for breakfast hot bulgar in leui of oatmeal.

Opening Hidden Doors said...

Given the abundance of pumpkin just now I was hoping you might offer some suggestions on uses. I'm planning on trying to freeze some for the first time ever as I do love it. Thanks, I will be trying this in short order.

Healthy Girl said...

Katy-to turn this into a casserole, what I would do is roast and peel the acorn squash. Let it cool and then layer into a casserole dish the pumpkin bulgur mixture, then on top of that the roasted squash then sprinkle on some cinnamon and bake for a while. It should be delicious!

I hope that makes sense!

Amy said...

I'm trying to eliminate wheat from my diet so I am going to try this with quinoa. It sounds delicious. This is what's for dinner tomorrow along with some swiss chard!

Megan in Portland said...

Yum! I have a couple of delicata squashes on my counter from my CSA and I'm going to sub them for the butternut squash - can't wait to try it!

Thanks for the great recipe!!

Rachel said...

Bulghur is a great stand-in for ground beef in veggie chili. You don't need to precook it, just add the ater it needs to the veggies.

Katy said...

Hi Wendy - Just wanted to let you know I made this in the casserole form last night with farro instead of bulgar and it is delicious! Thanks so much.

Just one note if anyone tries this as well, I roasted the squash too long and it would have had a better texture if I only par-roasted instead of fully roasting it. I'll be trying that next time.

Healthy Girl said...

Thanks for the update Katy! Hope you and your peeps enjoyed it even with the overroasted squash.

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