This is a wonderful fall dish to serve as either a side dish or a light dinner. This particular version contains apples and raisins – but it is also wonderful with cranberries and walnuts, savory wild rice, crumbled chicken sausage, tomato sauce and spinach. Acorn squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavor – so you can really feel free to stuff it with any fillings that you would like. The presentation of this dish is so impressive (yet it is so easy to make), that you could definitely serve it to company. If you have never tried acorn squash before, this is a great way to try it for the first time.
2 medium acorn squash
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
1/3 cup reduced-calorie pancake syrup
1 large Granny Smith (or other tart) apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 400° degrees.
Cut the squash into halves, and scoop out (and discard) the seeds. Place the squash, cut side down, into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes (or until the squash are fork-tender). Remove the squash from the oven and turn them over (cut side up).
Heat the pancake syrup in a saucepan over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the apple, raisins and nutmeg; cook and stir for about 8 minutes (or until the apple is crisp-tender).
Combine the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl until smooth; stir this into the saucepan with the apples and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook the mixture (stirring constantly) until it boils and thickens (you want it fairly thick).
Divide the mixture evenly among the 4 squash halves. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 196 calories, less than 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 51 g carbohydrates, 6.5 g fiber, 2 g protein, 142 mg sodium , 0 g cholesterol.