The holiday season is upon us, and my husband and I are finally starting to get into the holiday spirit. Maybe it’s the festive cappuccinos or the warm vin chaud and the carolers singing in the streets, but either way, the holidays are here and I can’t wait to start some new traditions with my husband during our first Christmas abroad. For me, the holidays are a season of giving. I consider myself blessed because my entire life I basically have never had want of any necessities of life, and the holidays were always filled with an abundance of love, family, and food – and I enjoy giving gifts to show my love and affection to friends and family I care about. I agonized over what to give my husband for Christmas for weeks – and then it dawned on me that the reason it was so difficult is that he really doesn’t need anything. Neither do I. We don’t need anything.
But that is not the case for all Americans. In fact, there are children in the U.S. right now who are hungry. Next year, nearly one in four children in America will have to face being hungry. One in FOUR! It’s a shockingly high statistic. So instead of simply buying more things to wrap in boxes and bows just so we can open them for each other on Christmas morning, we decided to also incorporate a different sort of giving this year, and I encourage you to do the same. This season, in the spirit of giving and sharing, I joined up with the progressive dinner hosted by Share our Strength to raise money in support of their No Kid Hungry campaign.
Share our Holiday Table is a progressive dinner hosted by over 50 lovely writers/cooks/photographers in the blogosphere, sharing their holiday creations and confections with you to raise awareness about the hunger situation in America and show you the awesome and easy ways you can help out. The meal started December 6th with appetizers, and today’s course is all about side dishes. I decided to share today a fairly easy yet visually festive dish that could accompany a variety of main courses. It’s an extension of my recent discovery of a love of buckwheat, which I’ve recently found makes an awesome gluten free stand-in for oatmeal, and is satisfying in its own right as a savory breakfast as well. In fact, this really is not more complicated than my savory buckwheat breakfast, just stuffed into roasted acorn squash with some festive accoutrements to help dress it up a bit. Once prepared, the stuffed squash can be sliced and served alongside roasts, poultry, whatever it is that helps make your holiday table merry and bright. Or, one acorn squash half can make a satisfying and filling meal on its own – it’s all about the portion size as far as how you want to serve it. Personally, I see this dish as a unique gluten free side that could stand in for stuffing without all the stress of having to find or make a decent gluten free bread.
I hope you enjoy this little variation of mine, and I also hope you are able to spare a donation to help out hungry children in need this holiday season. Afterall, sharing is more than just giving out a recipe – it’s also about giving ourselves, to help make the world a little brighter
Ways you can help:
1. Take the pledge to help end childhood hunger in America by 2015.
2. Purchase holiday gift cards/tags to let your loved ones know of a donation made on their behalf.
3. Donate. Just $1 can help provide 10 meals to a child in need. $25 can help provide meals for over a month.
Be sure to check out the links to all of the other wonderful bloggers (and delicious holiday dinner ideas) who are participating below the recipe!
2 acorn squash, deseeded and sliced in half
salt, olive oil
1.5 cups prepared savory buckwheat groats with sausage and celeriac
1 cloves smoked garlic, minced
A couple sprigs of sage and thyme, chopped
a handful artichoke hearts in olive oil
1. Place squash cut side up on a roasting pan, and sprinkle some salt and olive oil on top. Bake at 350C until tender when pierced with a fork, about an hour or so depending on the size of your squash.
2. In a bowl, combine prepared buckwheat with smoked garlic and some chopped sage/thyme, and then use to stuff each acorn squash half.
3. Place a half of an artichoke heart on top and and add sprigs of sage, thyme, and parsley and roast again until browning on top, about 20 minutes or so. Garnish with more herbs (sage, thyme, parsley).
4. When serving, slice roasted halves into thirds or quarters to accompany a main dish. Though one roasted half does make for a satisfying lunch as well.
Other bloggers sharing their holiday table today:
Be sure to check out all of the courses at Share our Holiday Table