Healthy Cookie: Sweet Potato & Squash Brown Rice Medley

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Sometime last year, the Sweet Potato Bug bit me. And ever since, I just can’t get enough sweet potatoes to combat the fierce cravings that seize hold of me. The Sweet Potato Bug is known for leaving strong addictions in its victims, and I got hit hard. I could eat a sweet potato for every meal and never get sick of it. Curse you, Sweet Potato Bug!

But I guess this new addiction’s not all bad because sweet potatoes are unbelievably good for you. In fact, they say sweet potatoes are the most nutritious thing for you in the produce section. It just happens to be a major plus that they taste delicious too. If you haven’t been bitten by the sweet potato bug yet, then I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time. On their own, sweet potatoes are awesome. But even better yet is adding them to other things, and there isn’t much that doesn’t go well with a sweet potato. You might have noticed this from all the sweet potato recipes I’ve posted lately (see: Sweet Potato & Spinach Balls, Sweet Potato & Squash Marinara Skillet, and Ma’s Sweet Potato Casserole).

With Sweet Potato Bug venom pulsing through my veins, I need as many sweet potato fixes as I can get. So, I whipped another tater-themed recipe to curb my cravings: Sweet Potato & Squash Brown Rice Medley. For me, this hearty sweet potato-packed dish was the perfect meal, but it makes a great side too.DSC_3125

The tender brown rice, fiber-rich squash, and endlessly nutritious sweet potatoes make this one very filling and satisfying dish. But there’s a difference between the kind of full you feel after devouring a bowlful of this beneficial medley and scarfing down 4 slice of pizza; this makes you feel good and content, whereas filling up on junk just makes you feel gross and uncomfortable. If both options are delicious, why wouldn’t you pick the one that’s going to make you feel as good after as you did while you were eating it?

I can’t even begin to describe the bountiful flavor of this comforting dish, especially considering the short and simple list of ingredients. Don’t you just love when that happens? No need to get fancy here; you can make this marvelous meal loaded with chunks of tender sweet potato, fresh zucchini and summer squash, hearty brown rice, a light sauce, and a hint of tangy parmesan cheese in about 30 minutes. That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Butternut squash can easily be subbed in for sweet potatoes.
  2. And, if you don’t like zucchini/summer squash, try using broccoli, spinach, Brussels  sprouts, or just about any veggie you desire.
  3. The leftovers are just as delicious as the fresh stuff.
  4. Reduced-fat mozzarella can be subbed in for the parmesan.DSC_3091

Sweet Potato & Squash Rice Medley
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 medium summer squash, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moon
  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice according to boxed directions, replacing water with vegetable stock. If all the stock does not absorb, but the rice is fully cooked, then drain the excess stock.
  2. Meanwhile, place the potato on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Poke holes in the top of the potato with a fork. Microwave on high for 5 minutes then flip and poke holes in the other side with the fork. Microwave for another 3-4 minutes until tender (stick a knife through the center to test).
  3. Slice potato in half so it will cool faster. Let sit until cool enough to touch. You should be able to squeeze it right out of the skins. Discard skins (or save for a snack). Chop potato into small chunks. Set aside.
  4. Bring a medium skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken stock, onion, and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes. Add squash and zucchini. Cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Removes from heat and stir in rice, potatoes, and cheese. Serve immediately.DSC_3137