Red Kuri Squash with Polenta Stuffing

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This dish is a main event that can be carved at the table and served with your favorite sides and gravy. If you can’t find a Red Kuri Squash (pictured) you can use a pumpkin or a large squash that can be hollowed out and filled with our REAL polenta stuffing. When you see this gorgeous dish come to the table you can’t help but say, “Happy Thanksgiving.” Enjoy!

1 cup polenta (not the quick cooking kind)
4 cups vegetable stock or water plus 1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
1 Tablespoon porcini mushroom powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon olive oil (optional)
1 onion (diced)
4 celery stalks (diced)
2 bell peppers (diced)
2 teaspoons chopped marjoram
2 teaspoons chopped sage
1 teaspoons minced garlic
Optional: 8 oz. veggie meat – seitan, tempeh, vegetarian sausage (We used Upton Natural’s Chorizo flavored seitan)
1 bunch purple kale (stalks removed, washed and chopped)
1 large orange squash or pumpkin, approximately 5 to 7 lbs (We used a Red Kuri Squash)

1. In a large saucepan, mix the polenta and 4 cups vegetable stock or water. Cook on medium to medium high heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently for about 30 minutes. Add the mushroom powder, the nutritional yeast, olive oil; mix well and cook stirring constantly until very thick. Let set for about 15 minutes.

2. Saute the onion, celery, bell peppers, garlic and herbs until tender.

3. Add veggie meat (seitan, tempeh, veggie sausage) if using and sauté with the veggies for about 5 minutes.

4. Add in kale and 1/4 cup water or stock to the sautéed vegetables and veggie meat, cover and steam for about 7 to 10 minutes until kale is tender; remove from heat.

5. In a large bowl mix the polenta and the vegetable mixture.

6. Carefully cut off top of squash. Scoop out seeds and set aside. (These are great to rinse and then toast on a sheet pan.) Stuff the pumpkin with the polenta/vegetable mixture. Cover with the squash top and place in high-sided roasting pan with drip rack on the bottom. Cover the entire squash with parchment paper and then with aluminum foil. Bake in a 375o oven for two hours. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until brown and bubbling. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Cut and serve like a cake slice as shown in picture below. Serves 6 – 8.

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