Kwesmen epe Wiyas - Squash and Meat

Indigenous recipes are about self-reliance and self-sustainability. It's about being able to forage, grow, or obtain your foods from the land as nature provides to nourish yourself, family, and loved ones. All of my recipes are not meant to be followed 100% to the recipe. They're meant to ebb and flow depending on the ingredients you have in your garden, your pantry, your fridge/freezer, or foraging. If you don't have one or more of the ingredients listed, substitute it with something similar or omit. Also add whatever sounds good to you.

Kwesmen epe Wiyas (Squash and Meat) started out as a recipe my daughter learned from one of her Abenaki mentors. I took some idea's from that recipe and combined a recipe I learned from my mother. This recipe can be made from any squash you have, however a squash with a nice hollow center is ideal. If you make it using acorn or butternut squash, half and clean out the squash, put the filling in (as explained below) and cover with the other half. Today I'm using Hochunk squash and just using one half because Hochunk squash is huge. But use what you have. There is no "right" or "wrong" way. Use what you have.

Instructional Video Here

Suggested Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds of uncooked protein (ground or cubed elk, deer, buffalo, moose, or fish. You can use Tofu if you're vegan or vegetarian)

  • 1C sliced mushrooms (Puffball mushrooms are amazing with this but use whatever you have. Button mushroom also do wel)

  • 1-2 C greens (wild spinach, dandelion greens, plantain, or garden spinach, arugula, or kale)

  • 1 Tbs garlic, chopped

  • 2 Shallots (or wild onions, or yellow onion, or leeks), sliced

  • 1 duck egg or 2 chicken eggs

  • 1 sprig of culinary sage leaves, diced

  • 1 sprig of cedar and/or rosemary, diced

  • salt and pepper

  • sunflower oil

  • Tomato powder (optional)

  • Foil or corn leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375* F 191 *C

  2. Half and clean out the squash (save your seeds for planting or roasting)

  3. Spray or rub sunflower oil (or any vegetable oil) around the rim and cavity of the squash. Salt and pepper the entire cavity of the squash. Place squash on a foil lined cooking sheet.

  4. Fill the squash cavity with greens

  5. Layer mushrooms over the greens

  6. sprinkle salt and pepper

  7. In a bowl mix together your protein, garlic, onions, sage, cedar, rosemary, 1/2 TBS pepper 1 TBS salt. Mix with clean hands until all ingredients are evenly mixed.

  8. Form the protein mixture in a way that fills the cavity in a heap. Sprinkle with tomato powder (optional)

  9. If you're using acorn or butternut squash, oil and salt and pepper the other half and place on top of the stuffed half.

  10. Wrap in foil. Traditionally wrap with corn leaves.

  11. Bake for 1-2 hours depending on how large your squash is. Start checking at 1 hour with a meat thermometer.

  12. Let rest for 10-15 minutes, slice, and serve.

  13. Enjoy!

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