Here’s an extremely healthy and seasonal dish I made on Sunday: Baked Acorn Squash
Ingredients & cost:
- One acorn squash: $3.08 (organic, purchased at Whole Foods, cost at farmers market is approximately 1/2 of this price based on price check last week, but this week I didn’t make it to the farmers market)
- One “Organic Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage”: I used The Original Brat Hans brand, which I found in my freezer: $1.50 (est. regular price for pack of four = $5.99)
- 3 Crimini mushrooms: $.30 (Pennsylvania, organic, purchased 6 mushrooms at Whole Foods for 60 cents):
- 1 celery stalk: $.20 (purchase pack/bunch of celery last week at Piggly Wiggly for 1.59, approximately 8 stalks in the bunch)
- 2 small cayenne peppers and 1 jalapeno: all from garden (est. 10 cents if purchased at grocery)
- 1/8 of red onion: 10 cents (about 80-90 cents when purchased whole at grocery last week)
- Approximately 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil: $.16 ($5.69 for 33.4 oz bottle at Whole Foods)
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs: $.25 (purchase $5 loaf of multigrain bread at Farmer’s Market last week, this was approximately 1/2 slice from loaf that provides at least 10 slices, the cost is probably less than $.25).
- Chopped herbs from patio: $.05 (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano). Each are available at dollar store or Walmart for $1 or less for sizable container but very easy to grow in a pot on the patio.
- About 1/4 cup (or less) of canned diced tomatoes: $0.10
- 1/2 oz of shredded pepper jack cheese and 1/2 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese: $.30 (I already had it and needed to use it)
Total cost of ingredients used in this recipe, based on actual or estimated cost: $6.29 + sales tax for two servings.
Slice acorn squash longways, remove seeds, smear inner flesh with bit of olive oil, and place in baking dish, sliced edges down. Add water to about 1/2″ depth. Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
While the squash is baking,dice or chop onion, celery, garlic, peppers. Sauté sausage until done. The sausage I used was already cooked, so I simply needed to heat it well. I sauteed the sausage with the chopped onions, garlic, pepper and celery. I added sliced mushrooms during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.
Remove the baked acorn squash from oven. Carve out about half of the squash flesh from each half and place the portion you remove into a mixing bowl. Leave enough squash in the shell to make sure the shell doesn’t collapse.
To the squash pulp you just removed, add the cooked sausage and other veggies, along with bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of tomatoes and about 1 oz. of cheese. Mix and return the filling the squash shells, apportioning about equally between each half. Return the stuffed squash to the baking dish. I had drained most of the water that remained from the first round of baking, but I left about 1/10″ of water in the baking dish.
Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes. I added 1/2 tsp of Parmesan cheese to each half during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
The total cost is around $6.20 for two servings. I’m cooking for one so I have an extra serving for Monday or Tuesday, depending on when I decide to reheat it.