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Maple-Sage Pork & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/4 c + 1/4 c Maple syrup
  • 1/2 c rice uncooked
  • 1 T + 2 T butter
  • 1/2 c yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 lb pork loin small diced
  • 1 apple small diced
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 2 t thyme minced
  • 1/4 c sage minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cut the stem and bottom off the acorn squash, then slice the squash in half between the two. You should have two halves that can stand on their own. (If your cut is not even, you can level the bottom out.) Remove all seeds from both halves.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Brush 2 T maple syrup on each half and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 400F until fork tender (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
  • While the squash is cooking, cook 1/2 cup rice according to package directions, with 1 T of butter.
  • Meanwhile, toss the diced pork with the remaining 1/4 c Maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 T butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
  • Add the garlic and Maple pork and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Once the pork is almost cooked through (to about 140F), add the apples, garlic powder, thyme and sage.
  • Turn off the heat and add the cooked rice.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Fill the cooked squash halved with filling and top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 400F for an additional 20 minutes (until filling and pork reach 155F).