Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Visiting my dad in Brooklyn means plentiful and delicious produce from stores and shops that are within walking distance. While passing a vegetable stand with beautiful squash neatly layered in rows, I just couldn't resist and grabbed some! This recipe is very loosely described as I didn't have the standard measuring cups (I used a tea cup), spoons (I used a small spoon from the silverware) or corer (I used a slim vegetable peeler inserted into the center of the squash to cut away and remove the flesh). It's a forgiving meal in terms of food prep and using your sense of taste will be all that you'll need in terms of measurement.
Note: I used beef from a local upstate farm but this can be prepared vegetarian
by substituting meat with tempeh or mushrooms.
8 squash (like shown in the photo above), cored
1 leek, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 pepper (any kind), finely chopped
24-28 oz of tomato sauce (sauciness to taste)
one [big] bunch of mint, finely chopped --equivalent to about 4 cups dry and loosely packed in cup
1 pound of ground beef
1 cup uncooked rice, rinsed
ground cinnamon (3 heaping teaspoons)
black pepper (1 teaspoon)
salt, to taste (I didn't add any while preparing because my dad consumes limited salt and I wasn't comfortable adding any for him)
avocado oil for sautéing
Instructions: 1. Heat avocado oil in a large pot and add leek, garlic, carrot, and pepper. Sauté until veggies begin to soften. It's going to smell awesome.
2. Stir in the beef and rice. Add the black pepper, cinnamon, and salt. Cook until beef begins to brown.
3. Add the chopped mint and tomato sauce. Stir and cook just a couple of minutes longer.
4. All the yummy stuff you just cooked in the pot will be used as filling for the squash. Fill the squash and set aside.
5. Add 1-2 cups of water to the pot and stir the remaining sauce with the water.
6. Add the squash in an even layer and have water level come to just about the top of them, adding more water if needed.
7. Cook on low to medium flame until the squash softens to your liking. I cooked mine for about an hour over a low flame.
8. Check on it every now and then to be sure the sauce doesn't stick to the pot and burn. Add more more water if needed.
9. Serve squash with sauce and a side salad. Optional: sprinkle fresh parsley or cilantro on squash.
10. Mmm... enjoy!