Note: this same recipe can also serve 12, if you choose to slice the squash down the center and serve these as “boats.” Remove the seeds, roast for roughly the same amount of time, add the filling inside the squash boat and bake.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Roast the squash first. This can be done ahead of time. If I roast it the night before, I simply store it in a baking dish covered with foil in my fridge! To make the standing squash like in my photos, slice the bottom tip off so the squash can stand. Slice the top stem off. Use a knife or serrated spoon to scrape out the seeds in the center. Brush the insides and outsides with olive oil. Season all over with salt and pepper (especially the insides). Turn upside down on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork tender.
While the squash roasts, make the filling. Cook your rice as you traditionally would - you need 2 cups of cooked rice.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onions and the garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and juicy. Stir in the kale. Let it cook down - it will take about 5 minutes.
Add the rice to the skillet with another big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together. Stir in the dried fruit and the nuts or pepitas. At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture to stuff later, or use it now. If you use it now, stir in the crumbled goat cheese. If you serve it later, stir in the goat cheese right before filling the squash.
Fill the inside of the squash with the filling. Place all the stuffed squash on a baking sheet. Stick the sheet back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to warm everything together.
Remove the squash and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro, pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Serve immediately!