Saturday, April 16, 2011

Squashy Brown Rice with Grilled Vegetables

I was at the supermaket the other day trying as usual to stick to my shopping list when I saw a pile of huge butternut squash and I just had to get one. So then I had to think of what I wanted to do with it. One reason I wanted it is because I would like to try pumpkin bread but you really don't need an entire huge squash for that. By the way, I find calling it a squash really weird because in NZ we just call them butternut pumpkin, but the word is quite fun to say so I will stick with it for awhile. Well today I bought roller-blades (which everybody of all ages should do because they are so much fun!) and went roller-blading for the first time in many years, by the end of which I was starving and, as usual, while out and about I had been daydreaming of food. So I had decided to make something with rice and pumpkin and maybe just a little cheese. Because I love vegetables I decided to grill bell-peppers and courgette to go with, and because my house-mate loves meat I added bacon to the rice dish.

It turned out delicious! So I will share the recipe with the world. When it comes to cooking (as opposed to baking) I tend to just throw things together until it tastes good, which is a fine method until somebody asks for a recipe. It turns out that many people just don't get this concept of throwing things together so I will use this blog to record what I cook and have already had a very enthusiastic response from the people that I live with. That's a good start I guess and maybe other people out in the big wide world will also enjoy my food? But anyway, to get to the point, here is what I cooked tonight. I would love to include mouthwatering photos but I can't seem to take the sort of photos that you see in the food magazines. I guess I will have to learn. For now, somewhat average photos but I will work on it!

Butternut Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 cube/teaspoon chicken stock (optional)
Butternut squash
200 grams chopped bacon (optional)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons parmesan (or more)
Cracked black pepper to taste

 In a saucepan place rice, water and chicken stock – bring to the boil and simmer until rice is soft and the water absorbed, maybe about 20-30 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover.
Chop the butternut squash and place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the squash is cooked. Drain the water and mash (or blend).
In a large frying pan heat a little olive oil (or any other sort of oil or butter) and lightly cook the bacon.
Add the pine nuts and fry very lightly.
Add the rice, pumpkin and cheese. Combine well and season with pepper (and also salt if not using bacon).

Grilled Vegetables

Olive oil
Bell peppers
Herbs – oregano and basil are good
Salt and pepper

Chop the vegetables into large lengthwise chunks.
Peel the garlic and slice roughly.
Toss all together with oil and seasonings
Grill at 200 ° C until everything is cooked to your liking, perhaps 20 minutes or so.

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