My family is very excited to celebrate another vegan Thanksgiving this year. Coming up with a menu is lots of fun and we’ve got our favorite sides like everyone else. The main dish is what seems to change every year. Having a stuffed something seems an appropriate idea so we are going to try a wild rice and lentil stuffed kabocha squash. Kabocha squash is actually a pumpkin (eaten in Japan)so if you can’t find the kabocha, a cooking pumpkin would work too.

Many of you have asked me to post the recipe for this dish, but the truth is I’m going to be “winging” it (pun intended). I’ve never made it before but I am happy to tell you what I’m going to do.

Starting with cooking the pumpkin.Cut the top out the way you would if you were making a Jack-O-Lantern. Scoop out the seeds and rub the inside with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a smashed garlic clove. Place the squash in a large roasting pan with about 1/2 inch water in the bottom and cover with foil. Bake 375 for about 45 min or until it can be pierced with a fork.

The filling: I’m going to combine cooked wild rice (1/2 c dry), cooked quinoa (1/2 c dry) and cooked French lentils (1/2 c dry) with sauteed onion or leek, celery, garlic, herbs like sage or rosemary, toasted pine nuts, and probably mushrooms. If it doesn’t hold together I’ll put some in the food processor and pulse to get it to stick together and then add this back to the bowl. If I must, I may add some gluten-free bread crumbs or bread but I want to try to make this without bread.

The plan will then be to stuff this mixture into my baked kabocha shells, cover with foil so it doesn’t burn, and bake 1/2 hour or longer. Bake with the squash top NEXT to the shell, not on top….the squash will change shape as it bakes and you may lose your top inside the pumpkin. Any extra stuffing can be baked in a separate dish.

I plan to make the stuffing either today or tomorrow, prebake the squash tomorrow and then on Thanksgiving I just have to stuff the filling into the squash and bake the last 1/2 hr.

Wishing everyone a joyful day surrounded by loving friends and family.