Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

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Although we are nearing the holidays and I’d normally be dreaming up all kinds of chocolatey desserts, I have decided to take control of my sugar cravings and nip them in the butt before Christmas rolls in and the indulgences would start.  It really is unbelievable how little time it takes to kick the sugar habit, usually within 2-3 days I no longer crave it.  On this day though, I was trying to stick to my goal, but I wanted a little something sweet.  I decided rather than caving, I’d smother some squash in maple syrup and not beat myself up over it!  My husband said it was the best way he’s ever had butternut squash. I’d love to know what you think!

This meal went over well with my preschooler.  I’m always trying to sneak kale into his meals, and if you’re curious, I find the easiest most enjoyable way is to add it into soups.  That’s another blog post, though.  Back to the rice bowl.

The only pain in the butt about preparing this meal is peeling the squash.  I find the quickest way to do it is by cutting off the stem and bottom of squash, slicing the squash in half then placing it so a flat end is on the cutting board.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel in a downward motion.  Perhaps a tutorial would be helpful!  The rest of the process is very simple and fairly quick.

I also want to remind you all that there are five days left to enter my holiday giveaway.  Here is the link if you haven’t checked it out yet.  If you want your Vegan Bible, then I encourage you to enter!

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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup cashews, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup brown rice (I used a mix of brown/wild rice)

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Directions:

  • Boil rice according to packaging directions.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place the cubed squash in a large bowl.  Add maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and cayenne.  Using your hands or a silicone spatula, mix all the ingredients making sure the squash is well covered in the maple syrup and seasoning.
  • Spread out the cubes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.  Turn on the broiler and place baking sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to really caramelize the squash.  Careful not to burn them!  Lower the heat back to 425°F and toast your cashews for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Steam your kale and top with onion flakes.
  • To assemble, scoop rice into bowl, top with kale, squash and toasted cashews.
  • Enjoy!

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Coconut Curry Bowl with Thai Red Rice

This is a rich, warming meal with a touch of spice for those evenings where you need a little comfort food.  I used a red rice simply because I love vibrant, colourful dishes.  Red vita rice is an ancient grain which has been harvested in Thailand since the sixth century.  It has a really nice nutty flavour, and a deep burgundy colour.

Coconut Curry Bowl Recipe

Makes 8 servings

Coconut Curry Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 zucchinis, washed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 cups red vita rice (you can use basmati as an alternative)
  • Kosher sea salt to taste

Directions:

  • Rinse the rice under cold filtered water for ten minutes.
  • In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add the rice, cover, and let cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a seperate large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onions, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, curry powder, and a pinch of sea salt and stir occassionally for 10 minutes.  Careful not to burn the curry, add a splash of water if it is sticking to the bottom of your saucepan.
  • Add the zucchini, chickpeas, and coconut milk.
  • Cook for another 10 minutes (uncovered) or until your carrots are completely cooked through.
  • Serve on a bed of rice, and enjoy.