Crispy Acorn Squash

 I’ve always been finnicky about texture; even the smallest texture variance in my food can turn me off completely. My aversion to bananas is rooted in their soft, yielding texture combined with their overwhelmingly bossy flavor profile- but I digress; there are moments where texture is a welcome addition to a dish.

Although mild, it’s still winter and in an effort to be more seasonably aligned with my eating habits I have been eating an insane amount of squash; from spaghetti to butternut to acorn squash, this diverse group of root vegetables and I have become rather familiar. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, eating seasonably in a northern climate requires your inner David Copperfield to come to life, or else face a season of boring casseroles and the like; with that being said, squashes of, all kinds, are exceedingly nutritious and full of fiber.

Winter squash comes in many varieties and is higher in carbohydrate content than summer squash- you see, when we eat what Mother Nature wants us to eat, we get what we need! Acorn squash is a fiber heavyweight, as 1 cup of it gives you 9g of fiber, which makes it one of the highest fiber winter foods you can eat, especially when you compare it calorie for calorie with other winter vegetables; 1cup of acorn squash has 115 calories, with 896mg of potassium and 2 mg of iron- that’s a really high ROI if you ask me!

This acorn squash recipe was rather impromptu actually; I had an acorn squash that for the better part of a week was staring up at me, calling me to create her into something special. I didn’t know if I was to make a casserole, which is a staple but playing it safe if you ask me; and I knew that I wanted something crunchy and textural on my palate. After rifling through my cupboards I found a lonely box of forgotten Mary’s Gone Crackers, which are a tasty blend of flax, brown rice, quinoa and sesame seeds and exactly what my acorn squash needed. Creating a savory gluten free cracker crumb topping that is zesty and citrus infused takes this dish to the NEXT. LEVEL.

Searing the acorn squash wedges on both sides serves two purposes, 1) caramelizes the acorn squash and brings forward its flavors and 2) reduces the oven cooking time; although I highly recommend this step, if you are after a more hands free cooking experience, you can skip it and go right for the oven, this will, however, up the oven cooking time to 40-45 minutes. This acorn squash recipe is perfect piping hot out of oven, yet slips seamlessly into the role of cold lunch with very little effort- show of hands, who loves a two-for?!

Crispy acorn squash recipe, an exercise in texture, seasonal eating and of course flavor- nutritional return on investment GUARANTEED!

Crispy Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, wedged
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt

10 Mary’s Gone Crackers Original Flavor, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large saute pan, heat the coconut oil; cook the acorn squash wedges on both sides for 3 minutes each, or until they begin to caramelize. Place in an oven safe dish.

Meanwhile, combine the crackers, lemon zest, garlic, chili flakes and olive; sprinkle the mixture over the seared acorn squash. Bake for 25 minutes, until the acorn squash is fork tender.