Acorn Squash and Wild Rice marks a major life change for me. It’s one of the reasons I became a vegetarian four years ago (food poisoning #amiright). But, I’m thankful this holiday brings extra attention to gratitude, visiting among the slowness of the day. And while my first goal is to not gag at the smell of all the traditional dishes and be pleasant, my second goal is to introduce non-traditional options to this special time of year. have been planning to roast this adorable little acorn squash sitting on my counter for a few days…thinking festive flavors, like crushed cloves and cranberries with added value in a black wild rice. A perfect Thanksgiving side dish. But, I couldn’t find my dried cranberries anywhere. So I quickly changed the recipe to a savory,  East Nashville Spice Co“Spicy” inspired squash. And I’m even more excited about this being so non-traditional. (Serves 2) + 1 acorn squash, halved and roasted + 1 cup wild rice, cooked + 3-5 cherry tomatoes + 4 garlic cloves, crushed + Handful of pine nuts + Olive oil + Salt and pepper + 1tbs butter + East Nashville Spice Co “Heat Spice” spice

METHOD: 1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds & guts. Place open face down in a casserole dish or rimmed roasting pan. Pour enough water in the dish to cover the surface area (so the squash won’t dry out when roasting). Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until it’s completely soft with a fork. 2. Meanwhile, cook wild rice into a rice cooker for 50-55 minutes. I used fresh vegetable stock instead of water for added flavor and 1 tbs. butter. 3. Saute crushed garlic in olive oil in a sauce pan on medium to high heat and set aside. In the same pan, toast pine nuts until golden brown (but not burnt). Finely dice tomatoes. 4. Mix garlic and rice in a bowl. Then place the mixture in the center of the cooked squash in a soup bowl. Top with tomatoes & East Nashville Spice Co spice! Season with additional salt & pepper, if needed. year, I’m thankful for this happy accident. This recipe is to-die for and I’m proud to call it my very own…I hope this season renews a good & positive habit to give thanks in the best way possible. Happy Thanksgiving, friends. This week, my top 3 local gift guide items are being featured on Offline Nashville. East Nashville Spice Co’s spicy seasoning is on the list. Go check it out here!