Monday, July 14, 2014

Kale and Squash Brown Rice Bake

I remember doing puzzles every summer as a child, but I only found out this year, that my Mom had one ready for us the day that school ended to help us transition into the summer. Now I realize why I feel like doing a puzzle at the beginning of my vacation or a few days off. So, true to form, when I recently finished a 7 day stint at work, Louis and I pulled out a puzzle to complete. It was really relaxing and fun, and a great way to transition into my weekend. 

Lucky for me, I had more than 2 days off this time so I had time to really start to enjoy my summer. We went paddle boarding a few times, ran some much needed errands, worked on the house, and I did some baking and cooking as well as playing with my awesome new espresso machine.

When I have time like this, I always try to prepare some meals that will work as left overs for the busy days ahead, and this is one of those meals that surely won't disappoint.  

Kale and Squash Brown Rice Bake
adapted from The Spectrum Diet, recipe by Art Smith 2007

2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp finely chopped red pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped celery
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp Italian spices
1 C brown rice
1 C water
1 1/4 C vegetable broth
salt (if using low salt broth)
1 small butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1/2 C canned tomatoes
14 oz can lentils, drained and rinsed
4 C kale, blanched
1/4 C fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper
1/2 C Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Saute the onion, red pepper, celery, garlic and Italian spices in a small amount of oil in a saucepan until they soften ( about 5 minutes)
2. Add the brown rice, water and 1 C of broth to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Season with salt if desired. Cook until all liquid is absorbed ( about 45 minutes to 1 hour)
3. While the rice is cooking, place the squash cut sides down on a baking sheet and roast until a fork can pierce the flesh ( about 40 minutes). Cool the squash and peel it. Cut into chunks.
4. Once the rice is finished cooking, add the tomatoes and lentils to the saucepan and stir well. Allow to heat thoroughly
5. Blanch the kale until it is tender
6. In a casserole dish, layer the rice mixture followed by the squash, the kale, then sprinkle with parsley and the cheese. Drizzle with the remaining broth.
7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes

Great as left overs!

approximate nutritional information ( for 8 servings)
cal 206
fat 2.8g
  sat fat 1.1g
carbs 40.1g
   fiber 4.5g
   sugars 4.4g
protein 9.6g