This can easily be labeled a ‘skinny dish’. It packs different textures, flavors, spicy kick and nutrients, but it’s rather low in fat. So my contribution to today’s Squashing Winter event for Sunday Supper, hosted by my friend Heather of Girlichef, will make a good addition to that table that in a few weeks will be crowded with many over-the-top foods where no calorie or effort will be spared. And that’s just for the savory part. Then come the desserts.
Years ago, a trend started here, followed religiously by my mother at some point, where whole grain rice filled butternut squash covered with low fat melted cheese became all the rage, and appeared in many menus as a skinny option.
There’s a lot of credit to give to a recipe that has few ingredients, fills you up and still keeps you energized and not rummaging the fridge an hour after you ate it, because your stomach is growling again from a plate full of food that didn’t do much for the hunger factor.
It’s winter squash season for most of you, and I bet your produce is a drop dead gorgeous orange and with enough flavor to eat it raw.
The butternut squash layer get extra roasted from the second bake with the rice, and the top gets crispy form the last drizzle of olive oil.
Queso fresco here is a staple so old I remember the way it was when I was growing up, back when food was much more artisanal and organic without trying. This cheese was also called double cream and the guy at the cheese shop would cut the piece you wanted from a huge block, both sides with a thick layer of flour. Nowadays there are many variations, but they all melt wonderfully, one of the main reasons queso fresco is so popular.
This recipe uses the whole fat kind, because I think low fat cheese is not worth it much, I’d rather use less of the good kind. But that’s personal preference.
As for the rice, I adore wild rice, which takes a long while to cook. The nutty flavor is so unique and it has a chewiness very different from any other rice, similar to yamani. I love both. It’s a great rice for a cold salad with dried fruits and nuts.
What’s your favorite type of rice?
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SPICY WILD RICE AND QUESO FRESCO
The rice amounts given are raw; cook them in salted water. The amount of spices can be increased or decreased to your taste.
Makes 6 servings
¾ cup wild rice, cooked
¾ cup basmati rice, cooked
1 pound 4oz butternut squash, cubed
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 to 4oz queso fresco, diced
Preheat oven to 375ºF / 190ºC
Drizzle a roasting pan with some olive oil, add the butternut squash, move it around to coat in the oil, and sprinkle over half each of the smoked paprika, turmeric and cayenne and the cumin seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a ceramic oven-proof pan. Top with half of the queso fresco.
In a bowl mix both cooked rices with the rest of the spices and salt and pepper to taste. Top with the rest of the queso fresco and drizzle with some olive oil.
Bake for about 20 minutes, then turn on the top broiler and broil the casserole for about 5 minutes, until it’s bubbly and blistered.
Eat as soon as you can.
Ready for some stunning winter squash recipes?
- Maple Butternut Squash Donuts from Mess Makes Food
- Pumpkin Sweet Rolls from Basic N Delicious
- Vegan Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing from Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Butternut Squash and Couscous Patties-Indian Inspired from Soni's Food
- Pumpkin Hummus with Spiced Lamb from girlichef
- Quick Pumpkin Butter from Shockingly Delicious
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili from Supper for a Steal
- Black Bean Pumpkin Soup from What Smells So Good?
- Butternut Squash and Bacon Grilled Cheese from Ruffles & Truffles
- Butternut Squash Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Hearty Quinoa Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash from Citronlimette
- Roasted Buttercup Squash and Black Bean Soup (Dairy free) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Vegetable Soup from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Roasted Squash and Mexican Black Bean Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Roasted Squash and Sesame Noodle Salad from Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Quesadillas from The Dinner-Mom
- Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Balsamic Brown Butter from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Butternut Squash Lasagna from Hip Foodie Mom
- Butternut Squash-Sage Cream Sauce with Sausage Spaghetti from Daily Dish Recipes
- Carnival Squash with Maple Sausage Stuffing from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Chorizo-Stuffed Acorn Squash from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Butternut Squash with Spicy Wild Rice and Queso Fresco from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Pumpkin Alfredo from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Pumpkin Enchiladas from La Cocina de Leslie
- Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Pecans from The Weekend Gourmet
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Pizza from Curious Cuisiniere
- Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash from The Messy Baker
- Spaghetti Squash in a Creamy Sausage Sauce from Cookin' Mimi
- Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi from Pescetarian Journal
- Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Cranberries from Noshing With The Nolands
- Butternut Squash and Apple Crumble from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Butternut Squash Gratin with Sage Pesto & Gorgonzola from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Chorizo and Craisin Stuffed Acorn Squash from Family Foodie
- Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash from The Urban Mrs
- Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese from Big Bear's Wife
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar Honey Butter from Food Lust People Love
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic from Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon from Magnolia Days
- Slow Cooker Squash and Apples from Mama's Blissful Bites
- Sweet N Spicy Baked Chipotle Butternut Squash Fries from Sue's Nutrition Buzz
- Twice Baked Pumpkin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting from Treats & Trinkets
- Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars from Pies and Plots
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