Walnuts are one of my favorite foods because they are rich and satisfying but not overwhelming in flavor, so they blend well with many dishes. I also try to use walnuts whenever possible because they’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which my family needs to get through plant sources because we don’t eat fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for proper brain development. Studies have shown that children with good omega-3 intake do better in school and have fewer behavioral problems. Omega-3s are also instrumental in promoting cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and help to protect against certain kinds of cancer. They are an imperative part of our diet.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a small baking sheet generously with grapeseed oil.
Cut 1 inch off the tops of the acorn squashes, and reserve the tops. Scoop out the seeds and all but ½ inch of the flesh from the inside. Discard the seeds and finely chop the flesh; set aside. Put the squash shells cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake until tender, 35 to 37 minutes. Let cool.
Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, parsnip, apples, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and reserved squash flesh and cook until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley and walnuts. Set aside.
Turn the squash shells right side up on the baking sheet and spoon the filling into each. Place the reserved tops on the baking sheet beside the filled shells.
Bake until tender and the stuffed squashes begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot, with the squash “lid” next to the squash on the plate.
Recipes courtesy of the Pure Food cookbook by Veronica Bosgraaf, founder of healthy snack brand Pure Organic.