I sometimes fantasise about being a vegetarian, I can go for weeks on end without eating meat. I think its because in my pre-teens I was raised by my vegan aunt who was married to a very meat loving man. So I had the best of both to choose from.
In our home vegetables weren’t just an after thought or something quickly and carelessly put on the plate just to compliment the dish. Vegetables were the star of the dish, so I naturally learnt how to create really amazing veg dishes from this vegan Goddess.
One of my absolute favourite Vegetarian Dishes I enjoy creating and eating is this, Creamy Spinach with Butternut Squash, served with basmati wild rice.
For the Wild Rice
- Basmati with wild rice or any rice of your choice (1 cup)
- Coconut oil (1teaspoon)
I know everyone has their own way of cooking rice, I will share with you my technique. I like to get as much starch out of the rice by boiling the rice in plain water for 5mins, then draining the water and rinsing the starch out before I cook it. This is so that it comes out nice and fluffy and doesn’t stick together.
- Boil rice on high heat for 5mins.
- Drain the water out through a sieve.
- Rinse the rice with warm water and drain , repeat 3 times
- Place the drained rice back into the sauce pan and pour hot water. The water should just about cover the rice, roughly 2- 4 cm above the rice.
- Add the coconut oil, cover with a lid and leave the rice to simmer on very low heat until the rice is cooked.
If the water runs out before the rice is cooked , add a litter more water. “I use a folk to slightly part the rice all the way to the bottom of the pot to see if there is still any moisture or not”.
How do you know when rice is cooked?. I use a folk to pick a few grains from the top and taste with my mouth . The rice should be soft and not crunchy.
For the Spinach & Butternut Squash with Creamy Mushroom
- Butternut squash 1\2 (cut into cubes)
- Wild mushrooms or any mushrooms of your choice (1 cup)
- Spinach 2 cups (roughly shredded)
- Large spring onion (sliced)
- Red chilli 1 medium (sliced)
- Garlic 1 clove (crushed)
- Double cream 1 cup
- Fennel seeds 1 teaspoon
- Ground coriander 1 teaspoon
- White pepper 1 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil 1 table spoon
- Bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon
- Pour boiling water in a bowl and add bicarbonate of soda.
- Place the spinach and blanch for 5mins
- Drain the water through a sieve and set aside. “make sure to squeeze as much water out a possible”
Continue with the rest of the ingredients
- Pour olive oil in a large pan on medium to high heat and add the fennel seeds for 30secs, the add the butternut squash and fry until for 3mins or until the squash has softened.
- Add the ground coriander and white pepper and fry for 1min, then add the wild mushrooms and and fry for 2mins. The mushrooms tend to sweat and release moisture. Wait until the water has evaporated before adding the next ingredients.
- Add the chilli, spring onion, garlic and fry for 2mins.
- Pour the double cream and leave to cook for 2mins while gently stirring in all the ingredients.
- Add the blanched spinach and cook for 3mins on high heat, while evenly stirring in all the ingredients. The spinach tends to release water, so if the dish is looking too watery, increase the heat to evaporate the moisture. The dish should have a slightly thick and creamy texture.
All done and ready to serve with the Wild Rice