Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

INGREDIENTS:

2 large pattypan squash

1-2 fresh Italian sausage (may substitute turkey sausage or ground beef)

1 cup couscous (or whole wheat rice)

1/2 bell pepper (red, green, yellow or purple)

1 small onion (red or white)

1/4-1/2 cup salsa

grated Parmesan cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper

minced garlic

fresh or dried herbs: thyme, rosemary, marjoram (we have all three!)

1 3/4 cup chicken broth or bouillon

DIRECTIONS:

Preparing the Squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a small knife (serrated works best), cut a circle around the top of the squash (like a pumpkin top). As you cut, angle your knife diagonally from the outer edge of the squash towards the center. Remove the top of the squash and set aside – this will serve as your lid. Hollow out the insides of the squash with a small spoon, being careful not to pierce through the squash. Discard the pulp and seeds. Set the remaining removed squash aside. Drizzle the inside of the squash and the bottoms of the lids with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then set on a baking sheet or pan in the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes, then set aside to cool.

For the Couscous: In a small pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. (You may also substitute whole grain rice, following package directions.

For the Sausage and Veggies: Chop the bell pepper and onion. Add a little olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium -high. Remove the sausage from casing, and add in small pieces to the heated skillet. Cook and crumble the sausage until brown. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper to the skillet and sautee for 4-5 minutes, or until onion is slightly translucent. Add herbs and salsa to taste, then add squash and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add couscous to skillet and stir to combine with other ingredients. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over everything and stir to incorporate.

Stuff each squash with the couscous mixture, and sprinkle a little more Parm on top. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from www.bonvivantonline.com