Photo Credit: Amy Lynn Creative
A trained chef and member of Ho-Chunk Nation, Elena Terry’s drive to feed others came from a childhood spent in the garden. Now, she is the founder and executive chef for Wild Bearies, a nonprofit seed-to-table company serving Indigenous cuisine.
“My grandmother taught us how to cook, and I always admired watching her,” Terry said. “I am a wild game specialist and butcher because of the knowledge given to me by my family.”
To bring Terry’s soul-warming cuisine into your own home, try the recipe below:
1 cup cooked wild rice
2 delicata squash (or any other similar squash such as acorn, butternut, honeynut, etc.)
1½ tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
½ teaspoon sage, chiffonade
1 tablespoon pepita or sunflower seeds, chopped
1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Optional: Substitute chicken or turkey stock in place of water for additional flavor.
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Discard seeds or reserve to roast and use as a salad topping or snack.
- Place squash on baking sheet and brush flesh side with olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 30 minutes with flesh side down. Remove from oven and flip using a fork. Bake for 5-15 more minutes or until slightly caramelized and fork tender.
- While the squash bakes, dice onion, mince garlic and chop cranberries.
- In a pan, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Add onion and garlic.
- Sautee until onion is translucent and turkey is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove turkey mixture from heat. Add cranberries, sage, and wild rice.
- Remove squash from oven and allow to cool until comfortable to touch.
- With a spoon, gently remove the squash pulp, keeping the shells to refill. Add squash to turkey mixture and gently combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Refill squash shells and place back in the oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.
- Place pepita or sunflower seeds in a small pan over medium low heat. Stir continuously until slightly roasted.
- Top squash with a sprinkle of toasted seeds and a light drizzle of maple syrup.
Learn more about Chef Elena Terry in this article from the fall issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine.