acorn squash and brown rice with pomegranate, pistachio, and kale


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work.
In fall we welcome comfort. Cooked soothing foods fill our stomachs with happiness and warmth on a crisp day. Acorn squash and spices like cinnamon evoke memories of a time when things were simpler, when all our cares drifted on a breeze with autumn’s falling leaves. This, is a dish to take you there.

Warm acorn squash mixed with fresh local yogurt provides a creamy earthy balance to this dish’s modern additions: pistachio, pomegranate, and kale. Seasoned with cinnamon and ginger, the spice-derived flavor allows it to be a healthy kickstart for your new season. No butter, no cheese, no large amounts of fat needed. Now how is that for comfort food?
1 acorn squash
1 cup long grain brown rice
2.5-3 cups water
1 small white onion, chopped small
2 cups chopped kale
1 bouillon cube
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 inch peeled ginger
1/2 cup yogurt
1 lg. garlic clove, chopped into large pieces
1 pomegranate
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1 tbs rice vinegar
olive oil for sautéing
salt & pepper to taste

1. Cut your squash in half, gut out the seeds, and set to roast. You can either roast it at 350F for approx. one hour, or if you’d rather set it and forget it, bake the squash at 200F for 3-4 hours. Remove and let cool.
2. In a small stock pot, sauté onions in olive oil. Once slightly see-through, add rice, and stir it around for a minute. Add 2 cups water, kale, bouillon cube, cinnamon stick, ginger, and garlic. Stir thoroughly, cover, and let cook.
3. In the meantime, gut out your squash and mix together with yogurt. I used Pequa Valley, a delicious local yogurt sold at Greensgrow. Cut open your pomegranate and remove seeds from the white flesh innards of the fruit. Set seeds aside.
4. As the rice cooks down, continue adding water until the grains become fully cooked. Once it is finished, let sit for 5-10 minutes.
5. Stir in squash, pomegranate seeds, pistachio, and vinegar, along with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool a bit more before serving to deliver fullest flavor.

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