Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cumin Scented Buttercup Squash and Green Rice

(pictured: green rice, cumin buttercup squash and seitan)

Not surprisingly I didn’t plan dinner tonight until late this afternoon. I seem to be incapable of deciding ahead of time what we are eating. Whenever I try to plan meals when the time comes to make them I invariably no longer want the planned dish. I guess you could say I am fickle when it comes to food.

Something in my brain wanted smoked paprika today. I guess I have Spanish food on the brain thinking about New Years Eve since we will be celebrating at a Spanish restaurant. Green rice is always a favorite of mine so deciding to make that was the easy part. The buttercup squash was sitting in the wire basket looking at me so I decided to add him to dinner. Yes I do think food has personalities and this squash was a he, definitely. Enough of my particular idiosyncrasies, back to the food.

One of the things I like about squash is its content of vitamin A. I don’t think we can ever have too many natural antioxidants. I decided to season the squash similarly to the rice, but with some difference in flavor. The smoked paprika was the common thread in the two dishes. I adore smoked paprika and use it whenever I think about it. Did you know smoked paprika is a source of vitamin A and C?

In addition to the squash and brown rice we also had one piece of each slow cooker seitan experiment. I am going to put those results in a separate post to make it easier to find later. Other than the seitan, here is what I made tonight.

Cumin Scented Buttercup Squash and Green Rice
Makes 3 generous servings

Rice Ingredients:

1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons fresh ground cilantro (about 6 tablespoons packed leaves)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or to taste, I love this stuff you may want to start with less)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon green onions

Squash Ingredients:

1 buttercup squash, cut in half, top to bottom, seeds removed (about 4 cups cubes)
olive oil mister
½ teaspoon cumin seed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine rice, water and salt and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the rice is tender (approximately 40 minutes). Allow to stand 10 minutes after you turn off the heat so the rice can finish steaming.

While the rice is cooking cut the squash into cubes no larger than 1-1/2 inches square. Mist the squash with oil. I use a pump style mister that I fill with extra virgin olive oil. Combine the cumin seed, kosher salt, black peppercorns and smoked paprika in a spice grinder and pulse to lightly grind. Sprinkle the cumin spice over the squash and roast for 40 minutes, or until tender. The exact time the squash will take depends on how they are cut. Additionally I used a convection oven, which cooks food a little more quickly.

After the rice has been allowed to stand for 10 minutes fluff the rice with a fork. Add the ground cilantro, smoked paprika and vinegar and continue to fluff the rice to evenly distribute the cilantro and seasonings. Add the green onions just before serving so that they will stay fresh.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 311.84
Calories From Fat (12%) - 36.95

Total Fat - 4.34g
Saturated Fat - 0.76g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 317.18mg
Potassium - 726.73mg
Total Carbohydrates - 62.82g
Fiber - 2.96g
Sugar - 0.69g
Protein - 8.46g

The numbers above assume one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil was used when the squash was sprayed with oil.


I really enjoyed this meal tonight. Both the rice and squash had a lot of flavor. It was a comforting meal that was perfect for a cold night.

Each serving of this meal contains more than more than 3,200IU of vitamin A, 240mg of phosphorus, 120mg of magnesium, and 15mg of selenium. This portion of the meal was very filling, which was why the photo only shows two small pieces of seitan. In fact this meal may have a little too big as I am now a bit too full.

Unrelated Note:

I need to write up the seitan post now. I hope to have that up in the next hour and a half.


  1. That squash is calling out to me! It really looks tasty. I love smoked paprika and love that the herbs and spices that make our taste buds so happy are so good for us!

  2. Janet,

    My husband loved the squash last night. I think cumin and smoked paprika work really well together.

    So ... I am not the only one that is obsessed with smoked papriaka? ;) I could put it in almost anything.



Related Posts with Thumbnails