Impress your vegan and vegetarian guests with this beautiful Vegan Stuffed Squash with Miso Maple Gravy. The sweetness of the squash is balanced by the umami of the miso gravy, while edamame and green onion add colour and texture to the brown rice stuffing. Perfect as a vegan option at a holiday gathering or dinner party!
1 teaspoonarrowroot powder + 2 teaspoons of room temperature water
additional sliced green onion
Preheat the oven to 375 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, prepare the acorn squash. Slice each squash in half lengthwise, cutting through the stem, and scoop out the seeds (I use a grapefruit spoon to make it easier). If the squash doesn't sit flat the way you will serve it, you can slice a small piece off of the skin side to make it level.
Whisk the maple syrup and olive oil in a small bowl and brush it over the cut side of each squash half. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Place the squash cut side up on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until a fork pierces through easily.
Once the water is boiling, add the brown rice and two tablespoons of soy sauce and boil uncovered for 30 minutes. Adjust the temperature down as needed to prevent the pot from boiling over.
Meanwhile, start the gravy. In a small sauce pan, combine the vegetable broth, brown miso, maple syrup, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. After simmering for 20 minutes, whisk the arrowroot powder with 2 teaspoons of room temperature water to form a slurry, then whisk the slurry into the gravy mixture until well combined. Simmer for one minute (see note 1), then remove from heat. Whisk once more before transferring to a gravy boat for serving.
Once the rice timer goes off, add the edamame to the boiling water with the rice and cook for another 4 minutes. Drain the rice and edamame in a fine-holed colander and cover to trap the steam (I just use the pot lid). Add olive oil to the same pot and warm over medium heat. Sauté the green onion and grated ginger for about a minute, until fragrant. Add the rice and edamame back to the pot and cover. Let it steam for up to 10 minutes until the squash is ready. Fluff with a fork and stir to evenly distribute the green onion. Mix in the sesame oil, if desired.
Once the squash is cooked, divide the rice and edamame mixture among the squash halves. Garnish with additional green onion and sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately with the gravy.
Do not overheat the arrowroot! Arrowroot only needs to be heated for about a minute to thicken the gravy. If it's overheated, it will start to lose its thickening properties and will create an undesirable texture.