Being vegan can have its challenges, especially when it comes to family meals and the festive season. However, if you’re willing to explore the creative side of festive meals and try something a little less traditional, it’s certainly not difficult to create a vegan meal which could play a part in the Harvest, Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.

This meal is also a great option for those watching their weight during the festive period. It can be easy to put on a few stray pounds from the mince pies and baked goods that your family offer you, but this meal will keep the calorie count down, whilst still allowing you to feel the warmth that this time of year brings with it.

This recipe is not only vegan but also gluten free (simply swap out the wheat bread for a gluten free alternative)

Butternut Squash With Whole Wheat, Wild Rice, & Onion Stuffing

Author: Nava

Recipe type: Stuffed squash, Thanksgiving main dish

Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy

Prep time:  30 mins

Cook time:  1 hour

Total time:  1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8

This satisfying dish of butternut squash stuffed with whole grain (or gluten-free) bread, wild rice, and onions makes a handsome centerpiece for the holiday meal.

This satisfying dish of butternut squash stuffed with whole grain (or gluten-free) bread, wild rice, and onions makes a handsome centerpiece for the holiday meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-small butternut squashes (about 1 pound each)
  • ¾ cup raw wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 1 /2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2½ cups firmly packed torn whole wheat bread (use gluten-free bread if you’d like)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • A few sliced fresh sage leaves (or leave whole if small), optional
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free mixed season blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash), or to taste
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 small orange (about ¼ cup; or omit and just use more vegetable broth)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wrap the whole squashes in foil. Place on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until you can pierce through the narrow part with a knife, with a little resistance. You can do this step ahead of time. Let the squashes cool somewhat, then cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and their surrounding fibers.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the wild rice, reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked wild rice with the sautéed onion and the remaining ingredients (whole wheat bread through salt and pepper).
  6. Scoop out the squash pulp, leaving firm shells about ½ inch thick. Chop or dice the pulp and stir it into the wild rice mixture. Stuff the squashes, place in foil-lined baking dishes, and cover.
  7. Before serving, place the squashes in a preheated 350 degree F. oven.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or just until well heated through.

Recipe link: http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/butternut-squash-with-whole-wheat-wild-rice-onion-stuffing/