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Lentil-Stuffed Christophene

I learned this recipe teaching a cooking class in St. Thomas. We switched up the stuffing from ground beef to lentils to create a healthy version of this island classic.

Ingredients
Lentil Stuffing:
Extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
sea salt
generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup baby lentils, rinsed well
1 bay leaf
3 cups spring or filtered water
balsamic vinegar

Squash:
3 christophene (or chayote) squash, split lengthwise, seeded
extra virgin olive oil
spring or filtered water
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, finely minced

Directions 
To prepare the filling, place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a sauce pan and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and red pepper and saute until they are limp, about 2 minutes. Add lentils, water and bay leaf, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are soft and liquid has been absorbed, 40-45 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove from heat and stir in a small amount of vinegar. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil each squash half. Fill each squash half with lentils. Place in a deep casserole dish and add water to accumulate about 1/2-inch. Cover tightly and bake for 35-40 minutes, until squash pierces easily with a fork. Return to oven to brown the squash edges just a bit. Serve, garnished with minced parsley. 


Makes 6 servings. 

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