**This is a fun recipe because it's so customizable. This provides a lot of ideas for you to choose from, but ultimately every recipe that everyone makes will be different. Remember, some of these cooking tips we provide here on the blog are more about the learning the techniques of eating healthy and less about following the recipe. Making it your own is what makes it fun to eat.
1 winter squash, like acorn, kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicata, spaghetti or any other grapefruit-sized (or slightly larger) squash
2 to 3 cups of filling
General amounts for filling — to equal 2 to 3 cups total:
1/2 to 1 cup protein — sausage, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu
1 to 2 cups veggies — onions, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, greens
1/2 cup cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, millet, farro, rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese
Prepare the squash for roasting: Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Slice the squash in half from stem to bottom and scoop out the seeds.
Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with foil and place the dish in the oven.
Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. Depending on the size of your squash, 2 to 3 cups of combined ingredients is usually sufficient. You can combine leftovers from other meals (cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, etc.) or you can prepare a fresh filling. Cook any raw meats and raw vegetables and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the spices, salt, and pepper to your liking.
Flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Rub the inside with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the filling between the halves — it's fine to really stuff the wells and also to mound the filling on top.
Re-cover the pan with the foil and bake the halves for another 15 to 20 minutes until both are hot and bubbly. Top with extra cheese and serve immediately.