With the fall chill fast approaching many people want to stay indoors and snuggle up with their blankets or significant others. However, aside from getting warm and cozy, baking and cooking fall favorites is always a must. For Native American people, food, especially fall harvest is one of the more important times of the year. In history, this time meant finding food that would last a harsh winter as well as provide all the right nutrients to keep the tribe healthy. The main ingredients for the fall harvest were and still are in many traditions consist of corn, beans and squash; otherwise known as the three sisters. Today, in a Native home, cooking is also much more than just preparing a meal. It is a way to show your love, caring and general kindness to your relatives, friends, or even strangers by spending your time to nourish them. A current recipe that incorporates many of the traditional foods that Northeastern Indigenous people ate is included in this rendition of Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash.
What you will need:
2 acorn squash 2 medium sized turkey breast 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 1 tsp garlic, minced 2 tbsp olive oil 1 ½ cups chopped baby button mushrooms ½ cup chopped onion 1 ½ cups baby spinach
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. After, place the hollow side down on a cookie, or baking sheet with a ¼ inch of water in the pan. Cook in oven for 35 minutes.
While cooking, prepare turkey breast by cooking them in one tablespoon of olive oil and garlic until cooked mostly through, about 8 minutes. When turkey is finished, cut or pull apart unto smaller pieces, the same way pulled pork or shredded chicken should look.
Afterwards, in a sauce pan, or skillet cook mushrooms, spinach, onions and salt and pepper, with the last tablespoon of olive oil until sautéed (stuffing prep and the acorn squash should be finished at the same time).
Carefully removing the squash from the oven, flip them onto their rounded side and spoon in the stuffing. After all four halves are filled place back in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
I would love to read any comments of your own additions or changes to the recipe!