So I am late to the Instant Pot craze! My mom, my clients and friends have all been telling me how this one pot could replace numerous gadgets in my kitchen. I was very skeptical but gave in last week when I saw an array of squashes coming my way in our CSA.
I will admit it, an Instant Pot has been a game changer for me. In one week I have:
- Cooked salmon in 4 minutes
-Made an apple curry butternut squash soup in 12 minutes
-made a batch of cinnamon roll oatmeal in 8 minutes
- Pumpkin Spiced Acorn Squash in 30 minutes
Reminder this is all in just one week!
I'll be honest the prep work of cutting, chopping, grating etc... is still all part of the process of cooking, so that will not change. But the cook time with an instant pot is what has been game changing for me thus far. Most cook times are cut in half if not more, but flavors and colors that are maintained with this impressive and quick cooking method.
This week there was a slight chill in the air and nothing says fall like pumpkin spice and winter squashes, so my instant pot creations continued with Pumpkin Spiced Acorn Squash. This is a supper tasty dish that has all the taste of fall packed in each bite. You can also make this dish very easily without an instant pot, by baking your acorn squash at 350 degree for 40 minutes (until soft and tender), and making your wild rice with your rice cooker or as instructed on the package.
Pumpkin Spiced Acorn Squash
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1-2 tbsp pumpkin spice
2 small acorn squashes, halved, stems trimmed, and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium shallot, finely chopped,
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Place 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice in 1 1/2 cup water in your instant pot. Lock on the lid, and set the steam release valve to “sealing” position. Select rice and set for 22 minutes.
While your wild rice cooks, prep your acorn squashes by trimming the stems, halving them and removing the seeds. Chop your shallots, mind your garlic and rinse your chickpeas.
Remove cooked rice from the instant pot. In a clean instant pot place 1/2 cup water. Place the steamer basket in the pot, then add the squash, cut sides up. Be sure not to exceed the max fill line. If your squash are larger and you exceed the line, cook the squash in two batches. Seal the lid, set pressure valve to sealing, and cook on HIGH (manual) for 4 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then immediately vent to release any remaining pressure.
While squash is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add chickpeas for about 4 minutes. Add your cooked rice, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, thyme, and cooked rice and stir to heat through, about 2 additional minutes. Add 1.5 tbsp pumpkin spices, salt and pepper to taste.
Once acorn squash is cooked place on serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining of the pumpkin spice. Stuff each squash with the wild rice, cranberry mixture.