Acorn Squash, Sage, & Sausage Lentil “Risotto”

Acorn Squash, Sage, & Sausage Lentil “Risotto”

By September 24, 2014

This is a great fall recipe: really easy to make, pretty fast, leaves good leftovers, and takes advantage of awesome fall produce. Another reason I like this recipe is that the sweetness in the squash can give you a bit of a "sweet fix" while still being slow-carb friendly. Note that if you're being hardcore slow-carb, you should substitute cooked chicken or pork for the chicken apple sausage; personally, I didn't find any weight gain issues with using the sausage.

Ingredients

Instructions

Cut acorn squash into 1-inch thick rings and remove the seeds and strings from the center. Put the strips on a microwaveable plate in a single layer (I had to do two batches for my squash) and microwave them for 5 minutes. Flip them and microwave for another 2 minutes. They should be completely soft. Set aside to cool. Repeat as many times as needed to cook the entire squash.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add enough chicken stock so that it fills the whole bottom of the pan and the lentils "float" slightly in it (about 1 cup). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is completely absorbed by the lentils. Repeat, adding enough broth to fill up the lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, until absorbed.

Now add the squash. Stir and mash the squash until it is incorporated into the lentils. Add the sage and stir until incorporated. Add the sausage and stir until well-mixed.

Now go through the process of adding broth a cup or so at a time and letting it get absorbed by the lentils until the lentils achieve a consistency you like (just taste the lentils each time after the broth is absorbed). Personally, I like them with only a slight amount of bite to them, so I ended up adding about three more cups worth of broth. Once you have the right texture, season to taste with salt and serve!

Photo credit: Whitney

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4 Responses to Acorn Squash, Sage, & Sausage Lentil “Risotto”

  1. Kyle nicholson

    Is acorn squash ok on the 4 hour body slow carb diet? Seems as if the response is mixed.

    • Eric Oliver

      @kyle Good question! So my take is this: Squash does not violate any of the slow carb diet’s cardinal rules — It’s not white (and can’t be white), etc. Some people say that squash can have a high glycemic index and therefore is not allowed on slow carb diets. However, what people should be paying attention to is glycemic load. Glycemic load does a better job of describing both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a mean or diet (see http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/grains/gigl.html). According to NutritionData, the glycemic load of acorn squash is 4, while the glycemic load of lentils is 31. I think it’s safe to eat acorn squash and I’ve experienced no issues with weight loss with it. However, we should always defer to Tim’s advice: test it, track it, and if it works for you, do it.

  2. cherie hudson

    When do you add the sausage? Or am I missing it?

  3. cherie hudson

    Never mind it took a couple reads

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