Preheat oven 400°F (204°C). Cut acorn squash in half-length wise and remove seeds.
In a small bowl combine 1tbsp olive oi and maple syrup. Brush over flesh side of squash and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down in an oven proof casserole dish and cover with tin foil. Bake squash at 400°F for 40 minutes or until squash is cooked through. Remove from oven and turn squash flesh side up. Run a fork through the flesh of the squash to loosen slightly (careful not to damage skin). Set aside.
In a large skillet sauté onions, celery, and garlic in 2tbsp olive oil until tender. Approximately 5-7 minutes. Add parsley, cayenne, cumin and cooked rice. Cook over medium low heat until combined and flavours have mingled (approx. 5-7 minutes). Add pumpkin seeds and cranberries; continue to cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove filling from heat and fill prepared squash.
Serve immediately. Yields: 4 acorn halves.
Tips & Variations
Add your favourite dried fruit or seeds for a different flavour and texture.