Saturday, November 28, 2009

“Rice Stuffing” (Rice and veggies)

While trying to figure out what I could do for Thanksgiving in Argentina, without the use or a turkey or cranberries (they don’t have cranberries here, turkey for the obvious reasons)…I came across a recipe for Quinoa Stuffing.

Although the title seemed like a stretch, it got great reviews and seemed to be something I could adapt with local ingredients. Here’s what I did:

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· 2 cups cooked rice

· Drizzle of EVOO

· 1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes

· 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced

· 4 large green onions, chopped

· 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

· 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, re-hydrated

· 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

· 1 lemon

If needed, cook rice with bay leaves and salt. Remove from heat; remove bay leaves and let cool. 010

Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Sauté zucchini and squash — season with salt and pepper — until slightly browned. Combine vegetables and quinoa. Drizzle on remaining 1 tbsp oil. Stir in onions, apricots, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and mint. Grate in lemon peel and squeeze on lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper.


Comments: I swapped out the dried cranberries for sun dried tomatoes, thinking they’d give a necessary tartness, but the new sundried tomatoes I got were incredibly bright-tasting and sweet, more like fresh tomatoes.

Chopped cashews would be a great addition. The zucchini cooked much faster than the butternut squash—additionally, the squash needed to be cut smaller—no larger than 1/2 inch cubes, and it could be doubled (as could the zucchini). Raisins might be a better addition instead of the tomatoes, and apricots were barely noticeable.

Overall, this is a flexible dish. It’s light and healthy, and easy to play with.

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