The perfect Fall accompaniment to any meal. This dish is great for both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Freekeh is an ancient grain of roasted green wheat. This grain is packed with protein; one serving has as much protein as an ounce of beef! Freekeh contains lots of fiber, no cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat. Use this grain instead of rice, couscous, quinoa or barley to add nutty flavor and aroma to your meal.
1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet, lightly drizzle olive oil and agave over the tops and insides of the squash halves and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, crushed red pepper, thyme, sage, ¼ t. of salt, ¼ t of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to softened and turns translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add walnuts and cook for a minute more.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the freekeh, cranberries, scallions and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed)
5. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves (about 1/2 cup for each) and lightly drizzle olive oil over top. Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Tip: Don’t throw away those squash seeds! Clean, rinse and dry them. Sprinkle with cayenne, salt, pepper, paprika and a drizzle of olive oil; lay flat on a cookie sheet and bake at 275°F for 15 minutes. These will add extra crunch and protein to your dish!