Very wintery and Fall-like flavors, combined with deliciousness of the acorn squash makes this a cold-weather favorite for us. Don't have acorn? Try it with any winter squash. Want this gluten-free? Make it with a gluten-free grain instead, like rice or millet.
There is coconut oil and coconut milk here. If you are not a fan of those, then don't use them. But having said that, you should know that the coconut flavor does not come through. I use them as wetting agents. If not a fan of coconut oil, toast the almonds without oil in a non-stick pan OR use a little of an oil you like.
The dish has some baking and cooking time associated with it but if you plan it right, you will be done in just about 45 minutes. You don't have to get everything chopped up and ready before you start: Here is how. Start the oven first, cut the acorn and clean it. Then chop the onions. By then, it will be time for acorns to go in. Acorns in oven, start the sauté. While the onion is sautéing, grate the carrots and gather the spices you need. Open the can of milk, get the bulgur. 10 minutes into acorns' baking time, it will be time to add the carrots. At the 15 minute mark, you will add the bulgur. By the time acorns come out, it will be time to stir in coconut milk..... Now go.
Total prep and cook time: 15 minutes prep, 30-45 minutes baking and cooking, most of which can happen concurrently.
4 half acorns
4 Tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil, plus a few drops more for brushing squash
2 acorn squashes, halved and seeded
A large pinch of brown sugar
2 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, grated (enough to make 2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 c raisins
1/2 cup bulgur (medium or coarse)
1 c boiling water or vegetable broth
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup chives or green parts of green onions as garnish
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F. On a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the acorn halves with a little bit of the oil, and then sprinkle each half with brown sugar. Place them cut side down, and bake until soft, about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, sauté the onions with 3 T of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until soft and caramelized. Add the carrots, spices, 1/4 c of water and cook until carrots are softened. Turn off the heat on the stove, but let the pan stay on it.
Add the raisins and the bulgur and the cup of boiling water, stir well and cover. Let the bulgur soak in the liquid (15 minutes or so).
Stir the coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (and some Aleppo pepper if you have it, why not?) into the bulgur mixture.
Carefully take the acorns out of the oven, turn the cut side up. Stuff them with the bulgur mixture. Put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small frying pan, use the remaining 1 T oil to toast the almonds.
Garnish the acorns with the almonds and the chives or green onions.