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Es’s Acorn Squash with Orzo, Kale and Tofu

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2 Acorn Squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
Ground Black Pepper
2 cups raw orzo
10ml VOO (Virgin Olive Oil)
1 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoons minced garlic
200g thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch = ±4 cups cleaned and rough chopped kale
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 yellow or red pepper, chopped – I used yellow as I did not have any red available
Soy sauce
½ packet firm Tofu, cut into cubes

Pre heat the oven to 475F
Cook Orzo as per instructions on packet.  Strain and keep aside.
On baking sheet, place squash flesh side up (seed removed) and divide oil between the squash and paint the oil over the exposed flesh and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Use a fork to test for tenderness.
In a separate pan heat oil and sauté shiitake mushrooms.  Add garlic and salt and saute until mushrooms are cooked but not browned.
Add shredded kale and chopped peppers and cook till wilted. Sprinkle with sesame seed, you can toast this if you prefer, although I did not do it.
Add cooked orzo and mix together.  Season to taste.
Fill the cooked squash halves with the orzo mixture.
Sprinkle with soy sauce for extra flavor and set aside.
When nearly ready to dish up. place in oven and heat through.
Before serving, fry the cubed tofu in VOO till brown and toasted.  You can also add some soy sauce for extra flavor.
Serve with tofu scattered over the squash.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Esme Slabbert

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