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Winter Squash Veggie Bowls
We had a double garden threat—snails munching on my veggies, and a hard frost about to hit. I went out and harvested everything I could, and wound up with some little bitty buttercup squashes. Buttercups are the green squash with melon like stripes and a pale teal-green “cup” on the bottom. Not to be confused with butternut squash, which are shaped like a cartoon skull or a giant pear and light brown/beige in color.
Buttercup squash are thick and deep orange and rather dry. They taste like Thanksgiving squash. Butternuts are lighter-fleshed and more watery. They’re very different. I love them both.
Anyway, I had these tiny baby butternuts, so I figured I’d do what I do with acorns. Slice ‘em, gut ‘em, stuff ‘em, bake ‘em.
Since I am a multitasker, on days when I cook my workout consists of dancing around the kitchen. I’m 61 and I still have moves. For this recipe, I found Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off and You Need to Calm Down just about perfect. (If you have never seen the Calm Down video, you have to do that today. Add it to the to-do list. You won’t be sorry.)
Here’s the recipe. It came out great!
2 small buttercup or full-sized acorn squashes
1.5 cups brown rice
3 medium carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 or 7 baby bella or white button mushrooms, sliced
1 package frozen corn
1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1/2 tsp extra sage
1/4 tsp curry powder
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Set oven to 375º
Wash the squash with a light scrubby. Cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds and soft gooey innards. Scrape the inside until you’re down to pure firm orange squash. Trim the stem. Careful.
Put the squash cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the squash is firm, but allows a fork to puncture. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the squash is baking, rinse the rice in a fine mesh colander until the water runs clear. Then add the rice to 3 cups of water, and cook over medium heat. When the water boils, reduce heat to a simmer. Stir uncovered, checking frequently. I like to stop the cooking while the rice is still firm. If you want softer rice, you will probably need to add a little bit more water.
When the rice is finished, the water should be cooked away. Set it aside and leave it alone. After 20 minutes, fluff with a fork.
While the rice is cooking, wash, scrape, peel, and chop the carrot, mushroom, celery, onion, garlic. Chop the carrots very small, they take forever to cook.
Put a high quality nonstick, stainless, or stoneware skillet on the burner at medium-high and let it heat until sprinkles of water gather into a single dancing bead. When that heat has been achieved, scrape in the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring, until the first pieces of onion start to turn translucent, and then add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, and add the corn when things get sticky, then drop a lid on and lower the heart a little, to extract the liquid from the mushrooms, which will deglaze the pan and coat the vegetables in that beautiful sugar that has cooked out of the veggies.
Take the cover off and stir, and use your own judgement, cooking, stirring, adding liquid, covering or uncovering as you feel is right.
When the veggies are almost done, add a little bit of each seasoning, tasting after each addition. Be especially careful with the curry as a little goes a long way. Maybe try some in a sample dish to be sure you enjoy the flavor.
Add the cooked rice to the veggies and stir while heating to combine everything.
Scoop the veggie-rice mixture into the squash bowls and return to the oven. This time we’re just heating it through so another 15 minutes should suffice, 20 if you want the rice to get a nice little hint of crisp.
Remove from the oven.
Drizzle with a very thin ribbon of maple syrup and serve.
PS: I’m closing my magic shop. Keeping the Bliss Blog, probably moving it here to Substack, but just closing out the merchandise end of things. We’re having a HUGE Season of the Witch Sale to clear out what’s left.
Most items are down to one or two remaining in inventory.
Laser engraved, lighted crystal spheres, tumbled gemstones, spirit boards, pendulums, pendants, oracle cards, rune stones, books, back flow incense burners and cones, regular burners and cones, stick burners and cones, oil warmers and oils, candles, spell kits, (almost gone) and a lot more.