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Spiced ground lamb and warm bulgur dotted with diced tomato make a flavorful, low-sodium filling for roasted acorn squash. Bulgur, a quick-to-cook whole grain with a texture similar to couscous is high in fiber and protein. The sweetness of roasted acorn squash (which is rich in antioxidants and high in vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins and iron) pairs nicely with bulgur’s slightly nutty flavor. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and chopped parsley add brightness to this cozy meal that tastes as good as it looks.

Lean ground beef can be substituted for lamb. To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, follow the directions below.

Note to the cook: Bulgur is the grain traditionally used to make tabbouleh, the popular Middle Eastern salad.

Vegetarian/Vegan Option

  • Replace ground lamb with a 15-ounce can of well-drained chickpeas, no salt added. Sauté chickpeas until heated through, then continue to follow the recipe as written.
  • For an added boost of flavor, consider cooking the bulgur in unsalted vegetable stock.
  • To make completely vegan, replace traditional plain Greek yogurt with your favorite vegan Greek yogurt. Adjust or omit water as needed.

Ingredients

2 acorn squash
½ cup bulgur, uncooked
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 ounces ground lamb
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons allspice
1 large tomato, seeds removed, diced
1 lemon, divided
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain, non-fat
½-1 teaspoon cold water
Optional: small pinch of salt

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon lemon juice (reserve rest of lemon for seasoning the bulgur). Add ½ to 1 whole teaspoon of water—just enough to thin the yogurt to the consistency of a sauce. Add a small pinch of salt if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Spray cut sides with non-stick cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil. Cook squash cut side down for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
  2. While squash is baking, cook bulgur according to package directions. Drain any excess liquid, fluff bulgur with a fork, and set aside. Keep warm until ready to use.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until onions are just beginning to soften. Add ground lamb and minced garlic and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes or until lamb is almost completely browned. If any fat accumulates in the pan, drain it at this point and return pan to the burner. Add ground cumin and ground allspice and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until lamb is completely cooked. Stir frequently so the spices do not burn.

  1. Add diced tomatoes to the pan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through.

  1. Turn off the heat and add cooked bulgur and parsley to the pan. Mix well and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the mixture. Stir and taste. Add more lemon juice according to preference.

  1. Flip roasted squash over and divide the hot bulgur mixture among the hollows of each squash, about a mounded ½ cup per squash.

  1. Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until squash and mixture are heated through. Serve hot with a drizzle of yogurt sauce.

Serves 4.

Nutrition

Calories 311 Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 4 g Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 39 mg Sodium 54 mg
Potassium 1150 mg Total Carbohydrate 43 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g Sugars 3 g
Protein 16 g
See more of the fresh, fun, and healthy recipes on our Wellness blog.
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