Monday, November 16, 2009
Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Quiche-like Dish
I don't plan meals too far ahead. I go to the market about every other week and stock up. I'll get a whole chicken, some inexpensive pork cuts, some ground bison along with a little cheese, mushrooms, grains and beans. We grow all our own vegetables so I don't need to buy those. I'm the only one here for lunch so I either eat leftovers or make a simple dish of rice and vegetables. The night before, i usually think about what protein i want to fix the next day so I can get it out of the freezer in time for it to thaw. I freeze small portions that I will incorporate into a stew or combine with beans and vegetables and serve over rice, quinoa or occasionally pasta. We probably eat meat about 4 times a week on average.
After lunch I start really thinking about how to put together some ingredients for a meal. When Robin gets home from Monkville she expects something scrumpdiddliumptous for dinner. One of whats-her-name's 30 minute meals does not cut the mustard (she loves mustard greens though). Neither would one of the other what's-her-name's semi-homemade concoctions. She wants to eat like a judge on Iron Chef; every night. (obviously we watch way too much Food Network).
Here's what I served her the other night. I call it "Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Quiche-like Dish". A traditional quiche has a wheat crust but we like our food to be both deeelllliiissshhhhuuussss and nutritious so I use brown rice as a crust instead.
We used to use plain old steamed rice but the flavor was bland tasting like, well, rice, so I steamed the rice in chicken stock (made from the carcass of the chicken we ate earlier in the week). We love sweet potato pie so i was thinking this would become like a savory sweet potato pie so I added some broken up cinnamon stick to the rice while is stemed to give it more flavor. I roasted the vegetables long enough to get them soft and caramelized. I blended the squash and sweet potato with the eggs, milk and cheese to make a custard then added the chopped carrots to give the dish some tooth. I read on twitter that sesame seeds were really good for you so I sprinkled them and flax seeds on top to provide some crunch and some added nutritiousness. While the dish baked the seeds toasted up nice and crispy. The nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric (i put turmeric in most dishes cause it's really good for you too) made it taste very much like pumpkin, or sweet potato, pie. Just not sweet.
Robin was happy that night.
1 acorn squash
1 lg. sweet potato
3 large carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup dry brown rice
1 cup chicken stock
1 2" cinnamon stick
1 cup whole milk
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons each - turmeric, nutmeg, sea salt, cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 lb. sharp cheddar cheese chopped fine
2 tablespoons each sesame seeds and flax seeds
Heat oven to 400º. Cut squash in half and clean out seeds. Peel sweet potato and cut into quarters lengthwise. Cut up carrots into large pieces. Place in a large casserole dish and coat with the olive oil. Place the top on the dish and roast the vegetables for 1 hour until squash and potato are soft.
Meanwhile, put the rice, stock and broken cinnamon stick in a rice steamer and steam until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
Put the milk, eggs, spices and cheese in a large bowl. (not the seeds)
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven. Separate the flesh of the squash from the skin. Put the squash and sweet potato in the bowl with the milk, eggs and spices and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Cut up the carrots into small pieces and add to the mixture.
Pour the oil from the roasting dish into a glass pie dish and coat the bottom and sides of the dish. Place the rice into the dish and press down in the center and up the sides to make the "crust". Pour the vegetable mixture into the pie dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and flax seeds on top of the pie and bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10-12 minutes. Cut and serve warm.