This hobo dinner recipe is so good, I may never buy vegan sausage to grill ever again!
OK, that’s a lie. I love a vegan sausage. But I have been getting back into making hobo dinners lately. My husband loves to grill, and I had gotten into kind of a rut. Week after week, I was eating Tofurkey Italian Sausage. Even Dave started to notice that I was always throwing the exact same thing on the grill, and he wasn’t even eating them. This hobo dinner recipe was me breaking deliciously out of the rut.
September is a fun time for produce here in Atlanta. It’s that transition from summer to fall, so our CSA baskets have started to include winter squash but still have warm-weather veggies. Ever since discovering my friend Andrea’s recipe for roasted kabocha pumpkin, I’ve been squash crazy, so I was thrilled to get our first acorn squash of the year a couple of weeks ago!
Her recipe works just as well with acorn squash, and I was eating a version of it several times a week last winter and never got tired of it. The major revelation from that recipe for me was that you don’t have to peel acorn squash. The peel is totally edible if it’s cooked enough, and that makes it stupid easy to prep!
And if you know me, you know that I like things that are easy. This hobo dinner recipe is just as easy. It combines my acorn squash obsession with a new one: Chinese 5 spice powder.
If you’ve never had 5 spice powder, it’s definitely worth hunting down. I found mine at the Dekalb Farmers Market, and you can find Chinese 5 spice powder on Amazon or at an Asian market. Sometimes even the regular grocery store will carry it, since it’s getting more popular. It’s key to this hobo dinner recipe, but if you have a really tough time, you can substitute a mixture of equal parts:
- ground fennel
- black pepper – Traditional 5 spice powder calls for Szechuan peppercorns, but if you can’t find 5 spice powder, I imagine that finding Szechuan peppercorns is out, too. Don’t worry! The taste will be a bit different, but the cloves and anise do a lot of the heavy lifting in this spice blend.
OK, got your spice mix? Let’s cook!
Hobo Dinner Recipe with Chinese 5 Spice Powder
Yield: 2 generous servings
- 1 acorn squash, cut into a 1″ dice with seeds scooped out
- 8 ounces of button mushrooms, sliced in half
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
- Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure you get everything well coated in the oil and spice mixture.
- Roll out a humungous piece of tin foil, and heap the veggies into the center.
- Fold up the foil into a pouch. You don’t want to let any air escape, or your veggies won’t cook properly. If you see a veggie poke through the foil, just wrap the pouch in a second layer of foil.
- Preheat your grill on high, and throw on the hobo dinner packets. Cook for 20 minutes. You can also bake your hobo dinner in the oven at 450 for 20-25 minutes.
- Be careful when you open the packets. Just like with microwave popcorn, they’re full of steam, and you don’t want to burn yourself like I did! Spoon your hobo dinner onto your plates, and serve.