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Acorn squash takes the spotlight in this tasty Mexican favorite

By Brenda Stanley

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 7 2014 1:28 p.m. MST

Belle's Acorn Squash Enchiladas make a delectable meal.

Brenda Stanley

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The wonderful buttery taste of acorn squash is a favorite at my house. I love it baked and browned in the oven with just a hint of seasoning. It is a healthy and filling food that is often overlooked because of its odd shape and tough skin.

But when you cut through that hard exterior, you’ll discover this delicious and versatile vegetable and wonder why you haven’t enjoyed it before. It can be roasted, blended into soup or stir-fried.

These acorn squash enchiladas are an even better example of just how exceptional this squash is. It adds a mellow and sweet flavor that is perfect when combined with rich black beans and spicy chilies. And if you have a vegetable skeptic in your midst, this is a great recipe to demonstrate just how delicious eating veggies can be.

Belle’s Acorn Squash Enchiladas

6 uncooked corn tortillas (found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)

1 large acorn squash

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chilies

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cumin

1 (15 ounce) can enchilada sauce

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup green onions, chopped

¼ cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives

On a hot, ungreased skillet, cook the tortillas on both sides until lightly browned and they start to puff up. Set them aside. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a bowl. Mash it and then stir in the beans, chilies, salt and cumin.

Pour about one-quarter cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Divide the squash mixture between the six tortillas and roll them up and place them, seam side down, in the baking dish.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over all and then cover with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions, tomatoes and black olives and bake for another 10 minutes.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author, including the recently released "That's a Lot of Crock!" and novelist. Her website is talesofthedinnerbelle.com.

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