Paleo Acorn Squash with Ground Beef

Fall is just about here, and I am in Fall mode.  I loved this summer.  Perfect weather for someone who doesn’t love it so hot.  The Fall though, has always been my favorite.  Partly because my birthday falls in October, but mostly because I love putting back on my boots, wearing cozy sweaters, and getting out there in the crisp air to enjoy the amazing colours of the season.  Another major bonus is that the market is full of gorgeous, farm fresh goodness.
Apples, bacon, rosemary, ground beef, sweet acorn squash… seriously, how can you go wrong?
This recipe made me happy.  This recipe, amazingly, made my kids happy.  I was a little nervous adding the apple, because one of my daughters turns her nose at the whole meat/fruit combo.  Glad to report she was on board, and ate it with gusto.  It is full of fall goodness, is healthy and filling.  Happily the two components – the squash and the beef mixture, can be made ahead of time, saving you time during the craziness of after school, homework and dinner.
I ended up with enough ground beef for leftovers on a salad the next day for my lunch. At the dinner table we all agreed that next time we would try the recipe in baked sweet potatoes.  I think regardless of how you go, squash or sweet potato, this recipe is a winner.
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I have only slightly altered the recipe.  I consider it a really good find!  It comes from www.stupideasypaleo.com
Preparation15 mins
Cook Time90 mins
Total Time 1:45
Serves Serves  4

Ingredients

  • 2 large acorn squash
  • 1 pound organic lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple, any variety
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (185ºC). Line a baking sheet or dish with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds out. Place on the baking sheet and roast until the flesh is tender, approximately 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to the touch. **While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing. Hint: You can always do this step ahead of time.
  3. Dice the apple and onion into medium-sized pieces. Slice the bacon into pieces.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the bacon. Add the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the apples and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove the bacon / onion / apple mixture to a large bowl.
  5. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef. (Note: If the beef has yielded a lot of fat and is not grass-fed, you may want to drain it before adding the spices and herbs). Add all spices and herbs: rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds, sage, pepper, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Pour the ground beef into the same large bowl. Stir to combine.
  6. When the squash is cool to the touch, use a spoon to scoop out some of the flesh and mix into the beef.
  7. Use a spoon to fill the squash boats with the beef mixture.
  8. Return the squash to the oven and bake another 15 minutes at 375ºF (185ºC) until everything is heated through.