Acorn Squash with Coconut Chickpea Stuffing

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This owl pumpkin is an easy way to add a unique spin to your Halloween or fall decor. This year I was playing a bit more with different designs for and I?m happy with how this one turned out. The white pumpkin seemed to beg to become something elegant; an owl, no less!

Owl made from a white pumpkin, succulents and evergreen "ears" - a great Halloween or fall decorating project!

The white owl pumpkin planter was inspired by my favorite visitors, snowy owls. I went to visit them a while back (you can see my photos ) and I now go each year hoping to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. They are simply stunning with large, graceful wingspans and downy, white feathers. Of course, snowy owls don?t have tufts of feathers like great horned owls do (which are not horns or ears, just feathers), but the pumpkin needed a little more detail to read ?owl.? It may not be a correct representation of any one species of owl, but it?s a cute way to decorate my porch for the fall. I?m sure the real owls will forgive me!

An owl jack o lantern, or jack o PLANTern, made simply with a pumpkin, sedum, and evergreens. Easy fall decor idea for the outdoors!

Materials

  • White pumpkin with beak-like stem
  • Sharp knife
  • Potting soil
  • Two large Sempervivum rosettes
  • Evergreen cuttings

Make it!

If you can find one, choose a white pumpkin with a stem that points to one side and a flat side to lay it down on. You will be displaying the pumpkin by setting it on the flat side, so bonus points if you can find one where the stem points downward. The best I could do had the stem off to the side, which I still think gives a beak-ish appearance.

How to make an owl out of a pumpkin

Cut out a round circle in the top of the pumpkin (remember, the top is now the side opposite the flat side).

Clean out the pumpkin (roast the seeds using this ) and fill with soil.

Planting sedum in a white pumpkin

Cut two small openings in the front of the pumpkin for the ?eyes.? Remove the Sempervivum rosettes from their soil, leaving a small root ball intact and plant into the openings.

Fall or Halloween owl decoration with succulents and a white pumpkin - so cute!

Create ?horns? by cutting two horn-shaped pieces from the sides of the pumpkin lid. Replace the lid back on the pumpkin and set the horns into the holes. Use evergreen clippings to add a feathery look to the horns.

Pin it:

Turn a white pumpkin and some black succulents into a hooty owl planter!

Display in a covered, cool location, away from direct sunlight, snow, or rain. More information on can be found in this post:

For more Jack-O-Plantern ideas check out and  too.

 

 

 

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Warning: this garlic bread made with spinach and kale butter is dangerously tasty! Gluten-haters don?t be afraid, you can easily make this gluten-free by swapping out the bread with your preferred brand. No matter what bread you choose, you can pack in the greens and make a new favorite side for dinner. I especially like to serve this mouth-watering garlic bread when I?m entertaining!Get your greens with this spinach and kale garlic butter recipe

This recipe isn?t just to get a healthy dose of greens and garlic into your system (or the bellies of little ones), but once you taste it there is no doubt that you will be clamoring for kale, chard, green onions, spinach, and herbs from the garden to make more.

garlic kale spinach butter recipe

You can use whatever you have growing fresh in the garden for this recipe. Grab a colander and a pair of scissors and head outside. See what?s green and flavorful and ready to be harvested. Is it time to eat the spinach before it bolts, is your kale taller than you, or do you have an abundance of green onions flopping everywhere? Whatever you can find, fill up your colander and head back inside. Let?s make green butter!

Ingredients

  • a medium sized colander loosely packed with various greens like kale, chard, spinach, green onions, garlic scapes, parsley, basil, and sage
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • Loaf of good quality uncut bread

Make it!

  1. Wash the greens well and remove any woody stems.
  2. Pack the whole lot of greens and the garlic into a food processor and pulse a few times to greatly reduce the volume.
  3. Add the butter, olive oil, and salt to the food processor and blend until you have a thick green paste.garlic spinach butter
  4. Slice the loaf of bread from top to not quite the bottom. Don?t cut the loaf all the way through so that the bottom is still holding it together.slicing garlic bread
  5. Generously spread green butter in between the slices and then wrap it up in foil.garlicky green butter
  6. You can throw the whole thing on the grill or bake it in the over at 350 degrees until it is warmed through and crispy on the outside.

Spinach and kale garlic toast

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Squash is probably my very favourite thing about fall. There are so many varieties that are beautiful to decorate with, but the flavours are really what gets me in the autumn spirit.

Rich, sweet butternut squash , sweet-potato-esque delicata squash, and pasta-like spaghetti squash are such fun to cook with. Acorn squash is a lighter version of a winter squash, with a higher water content and milder flavour. The great shape lends to stuffing and roasting it, which is exactly what Camilla V Saulsbury, the author of  is here to share with us today.

Acorn Squash with Coconut Chickpea Stuffing

This beautiful dish is loaded with protein, antioxidants and incredible flavor.

Makes 4 servings

Preheat oven to 350?F (180?C)

Large rimmed baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash (each about 2 1 lb/500 g), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tbsp melted virgin coconut oil, 30 mL, divided
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 can (14 to 15 oz/398 to 425 mL) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and coarsely mashed
  • 1?3 cup dried currants 75 mL
  • 1?2 cup well-stirred coconut milk 125 mL (full-fat)
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach, roughly 750 mL, chopped
  • 3?4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, 175 mL, toasted
  • 1?2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, 125 mL, chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 15 mL
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Lightly brush cut sides of squash with 1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil. Sprinkle with 1?2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until tender.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining oil over low heat. Add chickpeas, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Add currants and coconut milk; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add spinach, coconut, mint and lemon juice, gently tossing to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill squash cavities with chickpea mixture.

Tips

Delicata squash may be used in place of the acorn squash.

If you can only find a 19-oz (540 mL) can of chickpeas, use about three-quarters of the can (about 11?2 cups/375 mL drained).

An equal amount of raisins, coarsely chopped, may be used in place of the currants.

Complete Coconut Cookbook

Courtesy of by Camilla V Saulsbury, 2014 ? www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

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