For the rice stuffing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 shiitake or other mushroom caps, cut into small pieces
1 carrot, minced finely
1/2 stalk celery, minced finely
1 large clove garlic, minced finely
2 teaspoons Urfa pepper (or ½ teaspoon cayenne)
1/4 cup toasted pecans, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup cooked French or fancy brown lentils
1/4 cup toasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup cooked brown jasmine rice (2/3 cup dry rice cooked in 11/2 cups water)
1/4 cup cooked wild rice (cook a tablespoon or two of wild rice along with the jasmine rice)
1/3 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of minced dried cranberries or dried cherries (optional)
1/3 cup finely minced parsley
For the squash:
2 large or 3 small-to-medium delicata squash
Olive oil for pan
1. In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until just browned. Add the mushrooms, carrot, celery, garlic, and chili pepper, stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and slightly browned. Add these vegetables, along with the pecans, lentils, and pepitas, to the two rices in a large bowl. Add vegetable stock, minced parsley and dried fruit if using. Season assertively with salt and pepper and stir well.
2. Cut squash into 2 or 3 pieces to make 6 pieces total. Place onto oiled cookie sheet with one cut end down. Roast 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and turn squash pieces so the other cut end is placed down on the baking sheet and the browned end is up.
3. Bake another 7-10 minutes until squash is just soft. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
4. Run a paring knife gently around the seeds in the center of each slice and push the seeds from the center into a bowl. These seeds can be cleaned and used to make a delicious toasted snack. (If you do, clean and roast them with a little oil and salt, they can substitute for the pepitas in the stuffing recipe - or just snack on them as you cook.)
5. The squash cylinders can be sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper, coating the inside flesh as best you can. They are now ready for stuffing. Mound stuffing into the center of each. These can be stuffed and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Warm, covered with foil, until warm through, about 25 to 35 minutes (depending on how full the oven is).
Per serving: 336 calories, 10 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams sugar, 14 grams fat, no cholesterol, 63 milligrams sodium, 9 grams dietary fiber.