Recipe: Cuban Stuffed Squash

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This week, I was inspired to play around with some different plant foods than I normally eat. I’ve been doing my best to eat 20 different types of plant foods every week, which is a real challenge, but I’m slowly working my way up to that goal.

I decided to pick up some ripe plantains and acorn squash at WholeFoods, and I was inspired to try out a Cuban-inspired dish with some grass-fed, dry aged ground beef that was on sale (!) as well. I’ve never really cooked Cuban food, but I absolutely love going to Cuban restaurants – it’s one of my favorite cuisines ever!

These stuffed squashes turned out pretty delicious. I used crumbled goat cheese on top, but you’d be able to use any variety of cheese that you’d like. I had a hard time determining what a traditional Cuban cheese would be (most recipes online use cheddar, swiss, or mozzarella, which is clearly not Cuban!) so I’d love to hear your feedback if you have a cheese recommendation for my readers!

This is a cool all-in-one dish that gives you healthy protein, carbs, and fat in a pretty good ratio. And it tastes delicious to boot! Enjoy, and let me know if you make this recipe!

Recipe: Cuban Stuffed Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 5

Per Serving 591 calories

Fat 25 g

Carbs 70 g

Protein 31 g

5

Cuban Stuffed Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground grass fed beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried cilantro
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ripe (yellow) plantains, diced
  • 5 acorn squashes, halved and well-scooped (seeds and strings removed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil over the tops and insides of the squash halves, and season with ~1 tsp salt. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. While squash is baking, add another 1-2 tbs of coconut oil to a large cast iron pan. Add onions and garlic to hot pan and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add ground beef to pan, along with all spices (chili, coriander, cumin, paprika, dried cilantro, ~1 tsp salt) and stir until well incorporated. Allow ground beef to brown up, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Once beef is cooked, add diced plantains to the mixture, and stir well. Turn off heat and allow flavors of filling to mingle.
  6. After squashes are cooked, divide filling mixture generously among the squash halves. Add cheese of choice on top and return to oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  7. Serve warm, and enjoy with additional garnishes such as fresh cilantro and/or diced avocado.

Notes

Garnish: Cheese of choice (I used goat cheese) Fresh cilantro Diced avocado

  • Nikki Craig

    Cuban’s eat Gouda or Manchego cheeses. Gouda is a favorite w/guava jelly on Cuban soda crackers. I was born in Cuba and cook Cuban cuisine.

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