Acorn Squash with Apples and Adzuki Beans




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Late autumn is the time of pumpkins and winter squash. Although I love the stuff, too much of it can get monotonous for a meal. The trick, I have found, is to stuff it with something quite flavorful. This creation uses apples and adzuki beans, with seasonings that make it almost seem like dessert!

Preparation (Serves 2)

Soak a half cup of adzuki beans overnight, then boil until cooked (about 40 minutes).

Cut the acorn squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibers. To help the halves sit flat in the pan, slice away a very small amount from the bottom of each half to make a flat base for it to rest on. Put in a baking tray in a 375 degree oven with a little water in the bottom of the pan. Proceed to make the filling.

Apple-Adzuki Filling

1/2 cup dried adzuki beans, soaked and cooked
2 small apples (or 1 large apple), chopped into small pieces
1/2 stick cinnamon
4 allspice berries
3 cloves
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1/4 cup Tuaca liqueur
1 Tsp butter or butter substitute
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Grind the spices in a spice grinder to make a coarse powder. Combine all ingredients in a frying pan or saucepan and simmer for a few minutes, until the butter is melted and the apple softens. Add water if necessary to make enough sauce to coat the ingredients well.

Remove the squash from the oven and stuff with the filling. Leave remaining filling to simmer on low in the pan. Bake the squash until done (probably an additional 30 minutes or so). Serve the remaining filling on the side, and add a few tortilla chips for a crunchy accompaniment.


Freshly ground whole spices are important to give this dish its brightness. If you are used to ground spices in jars, you should try the experience of whole spices. To experience the difference, sniff some ground coriander from a jar, and then grind a handful of whole coriander seeds in a spice grinder and enjoy the aroma when you take off the lid!

Ingredient Corner

Adzuki beans are small dark red beans from East Asia and the Himalayas, about the size of mung beans. They are especially nice in this dish, because their small size makes them easy for stuffing into the suash cavities without a lot of empty space.

Muscovado Sugar is very dark brown and vegan. It gives a molasses-like sweetness to the sauce.

We like Earth Balance margarine as a healthy and vegan butter substitute.

From the Hearth is a regular feature of Starweaver's Gems from Earth and Sky

Copyright © 2007 Tom Waters