Savory Acorn Squash & Red Beans

acornsquash

What You Need

  • 1 acorn squash
  • red & pinto beans
    either 1/2 can of each
    OR 1 cup (combined and dry), that have been soaked for 2 nights
  • 1 TBS cayenne
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 2 TBS cumin powder
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 2 small white onions
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 of a medium-hot pepper: poblano, anaheim
  • optional: some cubed/shredded cheddar (qty of your liking)

What You Do

  1. Prepare the beans.If you are using canned beans, drain, rinse, and put them in a pot and add enough water to cover the beans. Add the spices. Chop and add 1 onion. Mince and add the garlic. Simmer for 45 min, making sure you don’t burn the beans to the bottom of the pan.If you are using dried beans it is good to start this an hour in advance. Ideally, you cook your beans for about 2 hours to get them soft and seasoned. You can do less, but the beans will be a little hard. That said, drain, rinse, and put them in a pot adding 3 inches of water above the beans.  Add the spices. Chop and add 1 onion. Mince and add the garlic. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to a hearty simmer for about 2 hours. You will need to keep adding water.

    Whichever method you use, keep an eye on the beans while you prepare your squash. You don’t want them to boil dry and burn. However, the end goal is to have nice, soft, spicy beans with a little sauce around them. If you have too much water and you’re ready to use the beans in the squash, just take off the lid, turn up the heat, and boil the excess water out.

  2. While the beans are cooking, prepare the squash.
  3. Cut the squash in half along its vertical line (from the stem down to the tip).
  4. Scrape out all of the strings and seeds with a spoon.
  5. Steam in a large pot with a steamer, or boil face down in a pan full of water with a lid until the squash is soft. Maybe 30 minutes, maybe 45. Depends on the squash size and ripeness.
  6. When the squash is soft, carefully remove it from the pot/pan and let it cool for a few minutes.
  7. Turn on your oven. Set to 350F.
  8. Using a pot holder and a spoon, carefully scoop out the meat of the squash, leaving about 1/8″ of meat along the skin. You need a little lining of squash to help the skin maintain its shape for the baking phase.
  9. Mash the squash in a bowl, making it roughly consistent in texture. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but you just want to avoid really big chunks.
  10. Chop and mix in the second small white onion.
  11. Chop and mix in your hot pepper.
  12. Mix in your cheese and your beans (about 1 cup of the dried bean recipe).
  13. Rub the outside of the squash with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking to its baking surface.
  14. Spoon the mixture into the squash shells and place both halves in a covered baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  15. Serve with some baby spinach greens and a hearty bread.
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