I don’t know what it is about fall, but I feel like this time of year I eat exponentially worse. I mean, I guess if I really think about it more I can figure it out… first the weather drops in temps significantly enough that big, hot comfort-feeling dinners sound nice at the end of the day. The other part would have to be the official ‘kick-off’ of the holiday season. First with Halloween and all the candy, then Thanksgiving month (please tell me that I am not the only American who partakes in at least 2 thanksgiving dinners a year), then of course on to Christmas and New Years. In my twenties I would shrug this food marathon off, but now over thirty, the thought of it is pretty daunting to my waistline.
My mission this year is to give my family a very healthy few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving so that we do not suffer after all the celebration. We are a big foodie family and go all out with our recipes for Thanksgiving, and I intend on enjoying all of it!
Over the next few weeks I have LOTS of vegetarian meals planned for the family – all within a fall theme so that I don’t lose their interest completely. This tortellini dish is still hearty, but without a thick or heavy sauce does still maintain a lighter feel. I also found that the flavors of olive oil, Parmesan and nutmeg all balanced nicely and made the dish interesting. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 pack fresh 3-cheese tortellini (approx 8oz.)
- 1 acorn squash, cubed
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus additional for garnish, if desired)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (more if needed, to taste)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- dash of pepper
In a large pot, set your water to boil to cook your pasta as directed on the package.
At the same time, warm a skillet and toss in your olive oil and garlic cloves. Cook the cloves about 2 minutes just until they start to release flavor.
Toss in your acorn squash and saute over medium to medium-high heat. If your squash starts to stick, toss in a little more olive oil. Your squash will have reached desired consistency when the exterior is slightly golden/brown, and they are slightly soft when pierced with a fork.
Once your squash is cooked, remove from heat, sprinkle with your seasonings, and stir in the sunflower seed kernels and cheese.
Strain your pasta and return to the original pot once water is removed. Stir in the acorn squash mixture. Plate and garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired.
Let me know how you like it, and if there are any changes you would make. If you aren’t a garlic fan, I think you could leave out the garlic and sub in some rosemary instead.
Happy Meatless Monday, veggie friends!
X.O. – Abbey Co.
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