Stuffed Winter Squash

From Beverly Lynn Bennett, proprietor of the, based in Eugene,  Ore., and co- author of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking.

Yield: 4 servings
4 cups whole grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Gala or Fuji apple, diced
1/2 cup onion or red onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast powder or flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup filtered water or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons tamari, shoyu, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 (1-lb.) delicata, sweet dumpling, or acorn squash (or a 3-4 lb. sugar pie pumpkin)

1. Place bread cubes in a medium bowl, and set aside to dry out for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, sauté apple, onion, celery, and olive oil, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add pecans, green onions, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon, and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Add apple mixture, cranberries, currants, parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, and black pepper to bread cubes, and stir well to combine. Add water and tamari, and gently stir to moisten bread cubes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Cut off the stems of each squash, cut each in half, and scoop out and discard seeds (leave pumpkin whole and scoop out stringy pulp and seeds like preparing for a jack-o-lantern). Place squash halves cut side up in a large baking dish. Fill squash halves with stuffing mixture, dividing it evenly among them. Cover baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, remove cover, and bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until squash halves are tender and stuffing is lightly brown on top. If using a pumpkin, it may need to bake 5-10 minutes longer. Serve hot.
Variation: For a more savory stuffing, replace the apples with 2 cups crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped, and omit the dried cranberries and currants.