Stuffed Butternut Squash

Wow, it actually feels a bit foreign to be writing this post. That means it’s been too long! I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I don’t like to make posts just to make them and I haven’t made anything worth talking about. But maybe I should start ensuring I make something post-worthy at least once a week. Here is what I made for dinner last night. It wasn’t perfect, but I suppose it’s worth a post.

Stuffed Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash
1 small onion or 1/2 medium to large onion, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 link vegan sausage
1 cup mixed long grain/wild rice, uncooked

Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place the halves face down on a pan, and place in a 400-degree oven. Cook until soft, about 30-40 minutes. I did this in my toaster oven which just perfectly fits two butternut squash halves.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package instructions.

Saute the onion, celery, and “sausage” in some olive oil until lightly browned.

Here are my cooked squash halves. The one is scored where I was testing it for done-ness.

Scoop out the insides, leaving a bit remaining.

Chop up the insides.

Combine the rice and the squash insides with the sausage mixture.

Stuff the mixture into each of the squash halves, packing it down.

If desired, sprinkle with some vegan cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.

This was tasty, but it really needed a binder. It felt like it was sticking together fairly well before I cooked it, but baking it dried it out and the filling got crumbly. So next time I’ll use an egg replacer or bread crumbs, or maybe mix in that cheese instead of sprinkling on top. And also maybe cover the squash up with foil.

And now, who’s a handsome cat???

The big news in these parts is Mark gave me my Valentine’s Day present early and IT’S A 2-WEEK TRIP TO FRANCE AND AMSTERDAM!!! We’re going in May. I’m so excited! We went to Amsterdam for a few days on our honeymoon …

… but we’ve never been to France. Suggestions of things to see, do, and/or eat in either place are very welcome! Also accepting suggestions of novels that take place in France and/or Amsterdam that I can read in the meantime.

I’ve heard Paris isn’t very vegan-friendly, so I’m sure Marseille will be even less so (we’re going to both cities). Fortunately we love bread and many breads, including the ubiquitous baguette, are vegan. Also, the French tutor I hired to help me remember my five years of high school and college French just happens to be a vegetarian and she totally knew what a vegan was, so hopefully I’ll be all set in the food-rejecting department. PAS DE BOEUF! PAS D’OEUF!

I’m also heading to LA in early March and the mountains with Mark’s family this summer…a lot of travel this year! Just the way I like it!


  1. Josiane Said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    Your stuffed squash may not have been perfect, but it looks like a terrific start! I’m sure it wouldn’t need much to reach perfection.

    It’s so cool that you’re going to France and Amsterdam! Yay again! And May is such a perfect time to go. You’ll have a fantastic time!
    I’ll have to check which of the vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants we ate at last time we were in Paris are still open (it was a few years ago, and things can change fast). I’ll email you with my recommendations. Oh, and I’ll have a story about one little thing to watch for while I’m at it.
    For now, I can always point you to the post I published on my blog after I came back… in case you love croissants aux amandes as much as I do: I hope this helps!

  2. renae Said,

    February 8, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    Josiane, thank you for any and all recommendations! And don’t be surprised if I start (attempting to) tweet in French to you more often…and please correct me when I say something wrong.

    I LOVE the creative croissants aux amandes. I have a feeling that’s going to end up being more than one meal for me!

  3. Nona Said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    Umm, do you have room in your suitcase pour moi????

    Ohhh I’m jealous and happy for you!

  4. Lily Said,

    February 9, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    What an awesome surprise gift (color me jealous)! I’ve actually heard that Paris isn’t as un-vegan friendly as it may seem; another blogger that I follow went to Paris a few months ago and wrote a few extensive posts about it that might be helpful. You can search for them on her site,

    Also, the falafel there is supposed to be superb!

    As for novels that take place in France, I really loved Anna Gavalda’s Hunting and Gathering.

  5. Glutofix Said,

    February 10, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    Their site is all in Dutch I am affraid, but maybe you can contact the ” the green girls” , they live in Amsterdam and are vegan and cool, so for vegan options in Amsterdam they may be able to help you

  6. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    February 10, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

    Hi there – your pending trips are very exciting. My husband will actually be in Amsterdam in May for a physics conference!!

    We spent 10 days in Paris a few years ago and one of our absolutely favorite places was the Musee des Arts et Metiers – I think you both would love it.

    Have you ever read Elegance of a Hedgehog?

    Chocolat by Joanne Harris?

    Happy planning. And happy Valentine’s day!

    Another link to show how cool Salt Lake City is:

  7. renae Said,

    February 10, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    Lily, actually I follow that blog and somehow managed to forget she went to Paris – AND Amsterdam! – this summer. Thanks for reminding me! I will check out Hunting and Gathering.

    Glutofix, I find Dutch completely incomprehensible, but there’s always Google Translate so thanks for the tip!

    Lisa G/K, cool, I didn’t realize there’d be a physics conference going on about the time I’d be there! Neat! I read The Elegance of the Hedgehog (it’s about a Renee, I had to!) a couple of years ago BUT I just bought a French copy so I’ll be (trying to) read it again soon. Chocolat is a rare instance in which I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the book; I’ll check it out. I’ll also be sure to check out the Musee des Arts et Metiers – looks awesome!

  8. Zoa Said,

    February 11, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    How pretty stuffed vegetables are, and I hardly ever make them (but should). Yours looks great–you could just use a shorter grain rice if you want it to hold together better or…as I’ve begun doing, mixing your rice with a bit of steel-cut oats–just cook them together. It sounds a bit odd but the final taste and texture are great. The oats add a bit of sweetness and would be a healthy, effective “glue”.

    Have fun with your French books! If I may make a suggestion, Voltaire is actually really easy to read in the original, free online, and a lot of fun, too…

  9. Maria Said,

    February 11, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    Ahhh. Paris. Yes, well I went there a few years ago and managed perfectly well as a vegan. The thing to remember is that your diet may be rather more restricted than you’re used to, but you should be absolutely fine. Bored maybe, but fine!

    I went to an old vegetarian place called ‘Grenier de Notre Dame’ a couple of times (it really is just round the corner from the cathedral of Notre Dame). They absolutely cater for vegans, so you’ll be OK with their menu.

    For snacky type food, you can’t do better than look up Maoz Falafel. Again, there’s one in the Latin Quarter (close to Notre Dame and the Sorbonne). Check our their website for the exact address. But Maoz are absolutely brilliant places where vegans are very well catered for.

    I’ll come back and check your site later, but if you need any other recommendations for Paris, do let me know.

    And as for Marseille… Well you may find you’re better catered for there, as there are a lot of ethnic food and restaurants there. Couscous is virtually the national dish of France now (although it does usually come served with large chunks of animal, unfortunately…).

    If you haven’t already got hold of a copy of Chocolat by Joanne Harris – you really must. Or try her book ‘Red Shoes’, which is based in Montmartre (Paris). And, even better, watch the DVD of Amelie, which I absolutely love and which sums up that area of Paris brilliantly.

    Maria, from France!

  10. renae Said,

    February 14, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Maria, Thanks for the fabulous advice – I feel a lot better that we won’t starve! I actually first learned about couscous in French class now that I think about it. And Mark and I were both totally charmed by Amelie, but it’s been years since we’ve seen it so we definitely need to watch it again before we go. You’re the third person to tell me to read Chocolat (I have seen the movie), so that’s a must!

    Zoa, I love Voltaire but I haven’t read him in French…great idea! As is mixing steel-cut oats to bind my rice!

  11. susan Said,

    February 12, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    Paris and squash are all very exciting but Mr Gomez looks like silky perfection.

  12. Smucky Said,

    February 26, 2012 @ 12:10 am


    I strongly recommend going to the south of France. I liked it more than Paris, it’s gorgeous! I visited Montpellier and Aix en Provence, but there are probably many other wonderful choices. You can get a train from Paris to these locations (usually via Marseille) and it’s only 3 hours or something like that.

  13. Marty Said,

    March 5, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    You might want to check out Tien Huang in Paris. It was pretty good.

  14. donau kreuzfahrten Said,

    April 13, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    This excellent website certainly has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  15. Holly Said,

    April 14, 2012 @ 1:58 am

    I would suggest visiting The Picky Eater ( and searching Anjali’s trip to France. It would be under articles. Scan through it and look toward the end of the list. She is a vegetarian and posted about every place she and her husband ate at. Enjoy your trip!

  16. Alexa R Said,

    May 4, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    Please make a post when you go to Marseille! I am a vegan and heading to Nice and Marseille for 4 days in the end of May before spending 2 months in Rome this summer. I really would love to hear how you survived it, I’m pysching myself out afraid they will put butter in everything.

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