Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Rice


I love fall produce! Don't you? Some of my favorite vegetables are the ones that are seasonal in fall: butternut squash, spinach, kale, broccoli...and butternut squash again. It's silky, rich flavor is so satisfying. Plus it's easily prepared and versatile too. Yum yum.

Butternut squash is a starchy vegetable, but not your typical one. It falls on the spectrum between zucchini and potatoes with only 80 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrate per cup. Plus it's high in filling fiber--a whopping 5 grams per serving! On the inside, it's another one of those veggies that is deeply-colored, meaning it's packed with antioxidant vitamins. Bright orange veggies are know for carotenoids, which can help you retain good vision. One serving of butternut squash supplies an enormous amount of vitamin A; I'm talking over 200% the daily value, and 30% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Here's one of my most favorite butternut squash recipes yet--an original of course. It's okay to love your own cooking, right?! This recipe is substantial enough to be served entree-style either as a vegetarian meal or with some grilled chicken. If you haven't tried butternut squash, this is a good starter recipe for you. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Rice
Serves 6.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, dry
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, rinsed
  • 6 cups butternut squash (1 medium squash)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add rice, pepper, thyme, garlic powder and half the salt. Return to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare squash by peeling, scooping out seeds and cutting into 1/2 inch cubes. {Don't toss your seeds out! See link below for roasting.} Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat squash. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Roast at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Squash should be tender, easily pierced with a fork but not mushy, and starting to brown. Pull from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. When rice is done, tear spinach leaves and stir into rice. Allow leaves to wilt.
  4. Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Toast pine nuts in the dry skillet, turning every 30 seconds until lightly golden. Watch them, they'll brown quickly!
  5. Gently fold squash into rice and spinach mixture. 
  6. Add pine nuts and stir once more. Serve!

Nutrition Facts: Calories 274 | Total Fat 5g | Saturated Fat <1g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 112mg | Total Carb 53g | Fiber 4.5g | Protein 5.5g.

Download the recipe here!

Related posts:
Toast your squash seeds for a delicious snack using this recipe.










Butternut Squash with Haricot Verts