Gluten Free – Turkey & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

dining, Highlands, North Carolina, Recipe
Dining Delight

Whether you have a gluten sensitivity or not, this recipe is a gluten free keeper — Turkey and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash. A good friend of mine shared this tasty, low fat, nutrient rich meal that’s sure to leave you feeling satisfied.

acorn squash, recipe, gluten free, Turkey & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash – Delicious Stuffed

This recipe serves 8 so feel free to double it or cut it in half.

  • 4 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 8 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher or fine sea salt, to taste (I typically cook without the added salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 medium sweet apples, such as Pink Lady or Gala, peeled, cored, and
    Gluten Free, Recipe, Turkey & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
    Apples for Your Gluten Free Recipe – Turkey & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the squash halves cut sides up on the baking sheets. Brush with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, until tender when pierced with fork (and when top edges are nicely browned).

mushrooms, recipe, Turkey & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey. Cook, breaking up with wooden utensil, until cooked through and no longer pink. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add apples, onion, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and poultry seasoning and stir 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with turkey. Stir to combine, then taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in almond flour and egg whites.

When squash halves finish roasting, pile stuffing evenly into the halves. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Squash is a nutrient rich food we should all indulge in when we can. Do you have a good squash recipe to share? How about a gluten free one? Check out my Sweet & Sour Chicken — another gluten free keeper.

Dark Chocolate & Love’s Heart Healthy Month

The month of February is not only the month for love, but it’s American Heart Month. With Valentine’s Day smack in the middle and thoughts of cards, flowers, and chocolate, it’s also a time to focus on steps we can take to ensure a healthy heart… and mind. Exercise, food choices, and modifying unhealthy habits are among the areas of our lives where we need to concentrate. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this article will address a particular food at the forefront of this day for sweethearts — dark chocolate.

Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month, Heart Health, Dark Chocolate, healthy lifestyle, February, love, candy, flowers, cards
February – The Month for Love
Food of the Gods
Valentine's Day, American Heart Month, Heart Health,Dark Chocolate, healthy lifestyle, February, love, candy, flowers, cards
Dark Chocolate – Good for Your Heart and Mind

The botanical name for chocolate is Theobroma cacao, which means “food of the gods.” Not only is it delicious, but dark chocolate is good for your heart and mind when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Notice, it’s the dark chocolate not the milk chocolate that may benefit you. Let’s check out why… .

What Makes Dark Chocolate Special?
Valentine's Day, American Heart Month, Dark Chocolate, healthy lifestyle, phytochemicals, flavonoidsFebruary, love, candy, flowers, cards
Cocoa Beans – Rich in Phytochemicals

Dark chocolate comes from the cacao bean which is rich in a type of phytochemical called flavonoids. Although milk chocolate contains some, it does not contain enough to make a difference — the darker the better.

Potential Health Benefits

According to current research, when dark chocolate is incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, it

  • can enhance heart health,
  • improve blood pressure,
  • decrease the “bad” LDL cholesterol, and
  • cause an increase in blood flow to the brain.

There are also studies that point to another benefit — it may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels thereby reducing the risk of an ever growing problem — diabetes. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease with the risk even higher for women.

Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month, Heart Health, Dark Chocolate, healthy lifestyle, February, love, candy, flowers, cards
Dark Chocolate – the Darker the Better

In order to enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate, a healthy lifestyle is important. Here are few tips to keep in mind:

  • Balance your calorie consumption — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 100-gram serving of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar has 531 calories whereas that much raw apple contains only 52 calories.
  • Avoid the dark chocolate that is higher in sugar and fat — in other words, avoid the chocolate coated bonbons that contain all the cream, marshmallow, and other unhealthy centers.
  • When you enjoy a little dark chocolate, eliminate another sweet from your diet, not another nutrient rich food.
  • If you have a choice between U.S. made dark chocolate or European, choose the European — they tend to be richer in the cocoa flavanols.


What’s your favorite Valentine treat?

Loveland Remailing Program
Loveland Remailing Program – Miss Loveland Valentine


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