In my days before eating paleo-conscious, one of the places that I enjoyed dining at occasionally was Red Robin. There, they had this delicious Royal Red Robin burger, which was a grilled burger topped with bacon, cheese, a fried egg, and whatever toppings you wanted, in a bun. Every time that I went there, that is what I ordered, because nothing could quite match the deliciousness at home.
Except, at home, the options are much healthier.
I’m at the part in our diet transition where I’m craving sugar. The amount that I’ve cut out have been pretty darn drastic for a gal who likes her sweets. So what is the best thing to help with caloric intake and satisfy the sugar cravings?
The Royally Stuffed Acorn Squash.
Oh yes. I have been dreaming about the Royal Red Robin Burger. Dreaming. I wake up with drool on my pillow after those dreams, wondering what I’ve done to be tortured with such mouth-watering visions of burger fairies dancing in my head. I must have it!
I finally caved in and decided to make my own healthier version. I do not claim that this recipe is death-defying for anyone but me. No gluten, no nuts, no any daily foods that will possibly kill me. This recipe draws inspiration from those dreams. Paleotastic, delicious, and easy to make. Except I put a slice of cheese on mine because I’m not ready to completely cut out dairy yet. The Hubster decided on cheese, too, because, “Sometimes a man just needs a cheeseburger.” The Acorn Squash is the bun substitute, and there are a lot of good spices to add to the meat.
Although we had this for dinner, this can most certainly be served for breakfast, too. Serves 2, or you can make up 4 halves of an acorn squash and serve 4 people. Here are the ingredients that you will need:
- 1 medium acorn squash (or white acorn squash, which is what I used)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 lb bacon (uncured)
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 slices provolone cheese (optional – omit to make it dairy-free)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut your acorn squash in half and clean it up by removing the seeds. Then spray it with some olive oil, and place it face down on an aluminum lined baking sheet. Once the oven is heated, put your squash in for 45 minutes.
- Mince up 1/2 an onion and 2 garlic cloves. Add them and your spices to your ground beef. Form into patties small enough to fit into the opening of the acorn squash. With the size of our patties, we ended up making four hamburgers from a pound. Not a bad thing since I have extra acorn squash lying around, and we can have this meal again with leftovers.
- In a cast iron skillet, fry up your bacon. Remove bacon, drain of most of the bacon fat. Set bacon aside.
- About 10 minutes before the squash is finished, add your burgers to the same skillet. Cook to desired doneness. Remove from skillet. Drain most of the fat.
- Take out the acorn squash. Flip over and lightly sprinkle with salt. Stuff the cavity with a burger, then top with bacon. If you’re being bad like we were, add a slice of provolone cheese on top and then put back in the oven to melt while you finish the last step. Otherwise, just put them back in the oven to keep warm sans cheese.
- In the same cast iron skillet that you’ve been using, add two eggs and fry them sunny side up with a little bit of ground pepper on top. Remove stuffed acorn squash from oven, add egg.
- Serve and devour. Make sure you get at least one good bite with all of the ingredients on it. The Hubster annihilated his.
© Julie Marie Pierpont and Death Defying Diet 2013