Friday, November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Harvest Vegetable and Rice Bowl

I like mashed potatoes and gravy as much as the next person. But if you're looking for an out-of-the-ordinary side dish to add to the Thanksgiving table, Harvest Vegetable and Rice Bowl is a worthy contender.

It features the flavors of fall - butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, tart apples, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds - combined with wild rice. Then it's topped with a homemade fig and balsamic vinaigrette.

It makes a lot, so it would feed a crowd at your Thanksgiving gathering. Even though it requires several steps, you can do some of the preparation the day before - always important as you figure out the ballet of oven and stovetop timing during the busiest cooking day of the year!

Since I made it before the holiday, we discovered that it's great for leftovers, too. On the first day, I served it with a grilled steak.
For Randy, I just served the harvest bowl as a side dish. For myself, I used less of the steak and served it on top of the salad. (The photos are a little misleading. The top photo is a dinner plate and the photo below is on a smaller luncheon plate.)
We still had plenty of leftovers for additional meals. And it was just as tasty after being refrigerated and rewarmed.

So, if you want to break out of the tried-and-true this Thanksgiving - or add a new element to the old favorites - this Harvest Vegetable and Rice Bowl is just the solution!

Harvest Vegetable and Rice Bowl 
with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
1 cup wild brown rice blend
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (You may use water and chicken bouillon)
3 cups 1-inch cubes of butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/8 tsp. each garlic powder, chili powder & cinnamon
Salt & pepper
9 oz. thinly shredded Brussels sprouts
1 large or 2 small tart apples, chopped (I like Jonathan)
3 oz. white Cheddar cheese (or use yellow Cheddar or Swiss)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (or sliced almonds)
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fig jam
Salt and pepper

Add rice and chicken broth to a small saucepan then bring to a boil; place a lid on top, then turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until rice is al dente. Set aside to cool slightly. Can be done the day before.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with foil (or silpat). Spray with cooking spray if using foil. Add butternut squash cubes, 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly. This can be done the day ahead.

Meanwhile, line another half sheet pan with foil that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Add shredded Brussels sprouts, remaining oil, salt and pepper. Toss with fingers to evenly coat. Add to oven after stirring the squash mid-way through cooking. Roast both the squash and the Brussels sprouts (in separate pans) for another 8 to 10 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown.

For the vinaigrette:  Combine ingredients in a bowl or jar with tight-fitting lid. Whisk or shake all ingredients together. (You may need to microwave briefly to loosen the jam.) Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

To serve:  In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, squash, Brussels sprouts, apples, cheese, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to coat and serve. Leftovers are good for 3 to 4 days.

Note:  You may shred the Brussels sprouts in a food processor. Or, larger grocery stores now have shredded Brussels sprouts in bags in the produce section. 

Today, I'm linked to Weekend Potluck hosted by these bloggers. Click on the link for recipes for  goodies, main dishes and more from cooks across the country. 

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