Ginger Spiced Squash Boats
Updated: Sep 14, 2021
*Pictured with a simple green side salad & this roasted beet salad.
These Ginger Spiced Squash Boats are one of my favorite Autumn Harvest meals and so I’m excited to write this recipe to share with local food delivery service, Mother Earth Food.
This is a flexible recipe meaning that it’s an opportunity to use up whatever veggies you’ve got on hand. The only essentials are a hollow squash (this is great with acorn squash too), the bison, and the ginger. While there are other ingredients listed, the rest is really up to you. My only rule when assembling meals is to “eat the rainbow” by including lots of different colored veggies, maximizing the nutritional content.
Ginger is one of my favorite spices to use this time of year, when temperatures begin cooling down. It promotes circulation, heats your body, is an anti-inflammatory, and stimulates digestion prompting your nervous system to relax into a parasympathetic state. So, this recipe uses lots! If you are sensitive to ginger, you can calm it down by using less.
Ginger Spiced Squash Boats
~2 hours (1 hour active time)
1 butternut squash
2 c of shredded cabbage (that’s less than a ¼ head of cabbage); red or green
½ onion, chopped into a large dice (can be red or yellow)
5 large leaves of chard (stems separated and diced; leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper diced
1 lb bison meat
6 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp ginger minced (about 2.5 inches)
1.5 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Pierce the squash a few times with the tip of a sharp knife and then place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 1 - 1.5 hours until very soft. Time will vary, depending on the size of the squash. When finished, set aside to cool. (*See Note)
Add cabbage, onion, diced chard stems, and olive oil to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized (soft and beginning to brown). About 15 minutes. *Take your time here, we are looking to build a base flavor with these sweet caramelized veggies.
Break the bison into pieces while adding it to the pan, along with the red pepper, minced garlic, ginger, and salt. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring and mixing often while breaking up and browning the meat.
Add the chopped chard leaves to the pan, mix in, and cook until wilted ~ about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain off any excess liquid or fat from the bottom of the pan then set aside.
Once the squash has cooled, cut lengthwise into 4-6 pieces, depending on the size of the squash. You can also re-heat the squash under the broiler for a few minutes if you need to. (*See Note)
Top the squash “boats” with the bison stir-fry, then garnish with fresh cracked black pepper & serve with a side salad.
When Roasting The Squash… Personally, I find it simpler to roast squash whole, then seed it after it has cooled off. Squash can be very challenging to cut through and I’d rather not risk a kitchen accident.
Roast the squash ahead of time. Just before serving, slice it and remove the seeds, then simply reheat it under the broiler for a few minutes.
Slow cook with olive oil... While olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can cook with, it does have a low smoking point. Go slow over low heat (no higher than medium) to preserve its beneficial compounds.
Use what you've got! I used both red & yellow onion, as well as red & green cabbage because that’s what I had in my fridge. Don't have chard? Use kale or spinach. Want more of an Asian flavor? Use soy or tamari instead of salt. Like it spicy? Add hot sauce. I think of this recipe as an opportunity to use up left-over veggies and whatever you have on hand.
Bulk it up leftover grains like rice or quinoa ~ just toss cooked grains into the pan when you add the chard/greens and sauté for a couple extra minutes until chard is wilted and grains are heated.
I hope you enjoy this festive and savory meal! :) Leave a comment below if you decide to make this dish! I love getting feedback.