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Lentil and Rice Stuffed Squash

1/2 cup brown basmati rice
1/3 cup French green lentils
2 cups fat-free vegetable broth
3 large summer squash (about 2-2 1/2 lb.), halved
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 whole scallions, chopped
3 cups escarole, rolled up and sliced thin
1-2 Tbsp. finely-chopped fresh dill (optional)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

Combine the rice, lentils and vegetable broth in a deep saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Cook, covered, until the rice and lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.

If using yellow squash, cut off the necks.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  In a large pot of boiling water, cook the squash 4 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. When completely cooled, pat the squash dry and set aside. 

Place a rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat until hot.  Sauté the onion 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and scallions.  Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the escarole and pepper flakes (if using). Cook until the escarole is wilted and bright green, about 5 minutes.  Stir the vegetables into the rice mixture.  Mix in the dill and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a baking dish just large enough to hold them, arrange the squash.  Spoon in the filling, generously mounding it. Sprinkle on the feta.  Pour 1/2 cup water into the baking dish. 

Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is soft,  about 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered in foil, until ready to use.  Reheat before serving.

Makes 6 servings, each of a halved zucchini. Per serving: 173 calories, 5 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 27 g. carbohydrate, 7 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 240 mg. sodium.

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