This meal fills up a home with the smell of warm, sweet cinnamon and is accompanied by a toasted mixture of flavorful lentils, sweet and fruity raisins and buttery pecan pieces. It tastes like dessert, but is well-balanced with lean proteins from the lentils, complex carbohydrates from the squash and heart-healthy fats from the pecans to keep one satisfied and properly nourished.
Yield: 2 servings
1 large acorn squash
2¼ tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 cup low-sodium canned, cooked lentils, drained and rinsed
¼ cup pecan pieces
¼ cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon on the inside of each squash section and place them flesh-side-down on the baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes until fork-tender and lightly golden brown.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the lentils, pecans, raisins and the remaining 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Scoop evenly into the inside of each squash and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the pecans and the top of the lentil mixture are lightly golden. Once ready, place half an acorn squash on each plate and serve. This can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Make-it-easier tip: Reduce cooking time by cutting the acorn squash in half, placing it in a microwave-safe dish and microwaving it covered on high for about 10 to 12 minutes until tender. Add the squash to the oven and continue with earlier step for a crispy finish.
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