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So I had never tried acorn squash and I have never met a brussel sprout I’ve liked, but this has all changed now! This squash dish will likely be taking the place of my Southwest Chorizo Dressing on our Thanksgiving table. That says a lot, if I’m willing to go without chorizo!!! LOL! And the fact that I ate more than one brussel sprout said a lot for that dish! They were really good!!!

These two dishes went really well together. The acorn squash is pretty sweet and the sprouts are bitter, so they compliment one another. Not to mention when you cook the bacon, you can use it for both dishes. Or you could leave out the bacon and have a great vegetarian dish!

Now I faked the brussel sprout recipe, but I cannot take credit for the squash recipe. I got this from the Food Network app after seeing Katie Lee make it on The Kitchen. She described the acorn squash flavor as a mix of butternut squash and sweet potato. I would say that is right on!

Basically, I will say this acorn squash recipe is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve made in a very long time and my hubby was in agreement on that. So give it a try!

Step one: Both recipes are going to use bacon, so dice up an entire 1 pound package of bacon. Cook bacon in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat until crispy. When done, use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel. Retain the bacon grease for the brussel sprouts.

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash

3 tbsp olive or avocado oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/4 tsp garlic salt

3 1/2 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (I actually used my favorite type of mushroom, maitake)

1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and light green part only

1 1/2 cups cooked forbidden or wild rice (I cooked with homemade chicken stock for more flavor)

1/4 cup dried currents (I couldn’t find these at the store, so I used dried cranberries)

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the lined baking sheet and bake until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Leave the oven on at 400 degrees F.

3. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the breadcrumbs, increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs begin to turn golden brown. Stir in the parsley and garlic salt. Transfer to a dish.

4. Wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms and leeks until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the kale and garlic and cook until the kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, currants, soy sauce, honey, 1/3 of the cooked bacon and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Scoop some of the mixture into the cavity of each acorn squash half and top with the reserved breadcrumbs. Bake until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Air Fried Bacon Brussel Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

1/2 thickly sliced leeks, white and light green part only

1/2 cup mushrooms, thickly sliced (again I used the maitake’s here)

Bacon and grease

Salt and pepper

Toss the brussel sprouts, leeks and mushrooms in the reserved bacon grease. Add the remaining bacon and season with salt and pepper. Put all ingredients in the basket of your air fryer and cook on high for 15-18 minutes until as crispy and/or charred as you like. Stir once or twice during cooking time.

Hope you love it as much as we did!!!