Gluten-free, Special Diets, Vegan

Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Loreto January 16, 2017

Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash, spicy, flavorful and hearty. Our contribution to this month’s feature for the amazing group #CDNFoodCreatives “Healthy Weeknight Dinners”. 

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash, featuring a host of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds, and visually and aromatically have you wanting to dive right in.

 

 

It seems this year has been a great year for squash. At the farmer’s markets and organic marketplaces, all types of squash are gracing the stands. As you are well aware of by now Nicoletta and I love farmers market and try to hit various ones throughout our city. One of our favorites is The Old Strathcona Market located in a historical area known as Strathcona. Housed in an old bus barn, with lots of windows and doors to bring in the sunshine making it truly a natural organic experience. It offers many sounds, sights, and of course passionately created unique products and wonderful produce. While at Riverbend Gardens we were ogling the squashes and asking questions about texture and taste. We were sold on the idea of creating something with a Hubbard squash. A bit horrific at first glance, but rest assured the people at Riverbend Gardens sold us on the taste.

I had thoughts right away to create something Asian with this squash, in particular, a Thai dish. One of my favorite Thai dishes is red curry coconut. I love the slight heat and the sweetness of the coconut, add in basil and there you have it. So no surprise that I decide to make a wonderful steamed rice blessed with that richness of the red curry coconut squash.

It has been a stressful time trying to balance life with family illnesses, a full time job, family life etc, as far as the blog it is a passion and I gracefully get up to write and try to create a great post. To tell you the truth Nicoletta works diligently and ever so hard every day on our blog and she does such a wonderful job don’t you think? I think food is such a great way to sooth sorrows, but of course moderation always the law in that department, as we all know if moderation is not respected the weight comes in hard. Well, I am not going to drown you in my sorrows, instead, we are going to go on adventure and have some fun to create this wonderful Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash! After all, we don’t want to put sorrow energy into this dish just pure sunshine and Nicoletta and I always manage to make some in the kitchen while cooking together.

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash, truly an ethnic experience!

I like to be really organized in the kitchen, have all the ingredients ready. It makes it more enjoyable for me, no different than Nicoletta when she bakes. No stress, and time to put some real good energy into the mix. Especially with dishes like this. All the prep was done by my lovely wife, and a little of me in the mix especially the squash. It has such a hard shell but the flesh inside when cooked is luxurious and a great compliment to the Thai spice array. Onions, squash potatoes, spices, utensils are all ready to go and I am excited to get this going!

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

I love the way onions smell when they’re sauteing, that sweet pungent aroma always makes anyone come into the kitchen to see what’s cooking. In goes the squash, potatoes, peppers and the colors are coming to life. The smell is amazing but wait, here comes the red curry paste and the heat begins to rise. This is the time to add in the stock and everything begins to mingle. I used a flavored sea salt, roasted garlic, to bring out the flavors, then in goes bay leaves and another level is hit. I use bay leaf a lot, especially in sauces and soups. It has that bite and floral aroma that just enhances dishes so well. Of course, a little crushed black pepper is needed to seal the deal. The final stage and in goes coconut milk to soothe that spice and to liven the sauce beautifully and on a low simmer it goes. While that cooks the rice is next on the list. There is something about steamed rice that nutty aroma, silk texture, slight crunch and the way it just compliments so many flavors. I say it is the blank canvas for any recipe to be created and one that will be the canvas and foundation of this Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash. Rice to me is simple or maybe the way I make it. One portion of rice to 2 parts water, a little sesame oil for seasoning, some sugar and salt, a little time from boil to simmer then steam, and a successful steamed rice is complete and ready for the wonderful  reddish golden hue that is coming from the saute pan. With rice in serving dish and a generous portion of the red curry coconut squash mixture on top, a nice placement of fresh basil and we are ready to dine!

Bell tolls and everyone to the table.

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

The taste is amazing. The spice of the red curry smoky, fragrant, the basil coming through in the sauce and the nutty sweetness of the coconut milk just making the flavors sing in your mouth. The bay leaf leaving its peppery herbal mark on the sauce as well. The peppers add such a beautiful array of color and the potatoes and squash a velvety smooth soft incline into heaven. Now the steamed rice slight crunch, nutty and every grain absorbing the red curry coconut. Varying textures, levels of spice takes you on a journey to Thailand, exotic, majestic and somewhat mysterious this dish Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash transports you on a magical ethnic flavorful ride!

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

I dedicate this recipe to my beautiful wife, whom I have always found to be exotic, and transporting.

Song of the day: “Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammer.

Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Steamed Rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Ingredients

    Squash and sauce:
  • 1 large green Hubbard squash, washed peeled and diced
  • 1 medium purple onion chopped into slivers
  • 1 small red pepper slivered
  • 1 orange pepper slivered
  • 1 green pepper slivered
  • 4 small red potatoes washed and diced with peel on
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger slivered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp grated lemon grass
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp basil paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • Rice:
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of white granulated sugar
  • Garnish:
  • 6 fresh basil leaves

Instructions

    Red Curry Coconut Squash:
  1. In a large saute pan drizzle in sesame oil and canola oil.
  2. Toss in onions and pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add a few drops of vegetable stock and let steam for a minute till onions are soft.
  4. Toss in diced squash, diced potatoes, slivered red, orange, green peppers and saute for about 5 minutes on med to high heat.
  5. Season with the rest of the roasted garlic sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  6. Blend in red curry paste.
  7. Pour in vegetable stock, and throw in basil paste and stir.
  8. Finally pour in coconut milk and stir well.
  9. Turn heat to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes till squash and potatoes are fork tender.
  10. Rice:
  11. While squash and red curry sauce is cooking.
  12. In a medium sauce pan combine basmati rice, water, sesame oil, salt and sugar.
  13. Bring to a boil stirring constantly to prevent rice from sticking to bottom of pan.
  14. Turn heat to a low simmer and cook rice for about 15 minutes covered while still stirring frequently.
  15. Turn off heat, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes.
  16. Garnish:
  17. Place a a nice scoop of rice onto a plate.
  18. With a large spoon get some of the red curry squash mixture and place on top.
  19. Place a couple of fresh basil leaves on top.
  20. Ready to serve.
  21. Enjoy!

Notes

Be careful cutting squash, this type of squash is very hard. First pierce the knife into the squash and work it down till squash is in halves. Then from there cut into wedges with squash flesh side down and eventually peeled and diced.

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

Check out the rest of the amazing#CDNFoodCreatives recipe ideas on “Healthy Weeknight Dinners” and thanks to Melanie at The Refreshanista to put this together:

Steamed rice with Red Curry Coconut Squash

Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products, places, or blogs we normally purchase or like.

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28 Comments

  • Reply Jo-Anna Rooney January 16, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I love curry dishes SO much, especially vegetarian versions…this looks like a delicious recipe! And I agree, good food is great for soothing the soul…

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you Jo-Anna, me too I am not a strict vegetarian although if I was cooking what our friend Kasim was cooking at his vegetarian restaurant, I could be converted.
      I hope you try this one it is so so good, the potatoes and squash soul food for sure!
      Cheers
      Loreto

  • Reply Demeter | Beaming Baker January 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    What gorgeous photos! Lately it’s been absolutely freezing in Maine… cue the huge cravings for all the warm and delicious things. This red curry coconut looks like just what I need! I’ve been meaning to cook with squash–here’s the perfect reason. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe! Hope you two have an amazing week. Pinned, of course!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you Demeter. It has been an unusually cold winter the other night last week we hit -40 thats where this dish comes in to warm all of us up, with a little heat from the red curry and that warm sweetness of the squyash. Perfect for a wintery cold day or night.
      Happy Cooking!
      Loreto

  • Reply Jessica January 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    This curry dish looks so good, perfect for a chilly winter night! And I agree about being organized in the kitchen, it makes cooking and baking so much more enjoyable when everything is ready to go.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 17, 2017 at 6:33 am

      Hi Jessica, thank you for your comment. I love dishes like this warm cozy perfect for that stay in date night with your partner on the couch sharing a bowl of this luxuriously comforting and flavorful, ethnic blend of spices and veggies, yum!
      Have a wonderful rest of the week!
      Loreto

  • Reply Cristina @ I Say Nomato January 16, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    It’s sounds like you are going through a trying time. It’s not easy to make time for blogging when there are so many ‘life’ things getting in the way, but you two still manage to create art! This looks so delicious, I’ve never tried squash in a curry, but I love the idea of it, and the way you describe it convinces me I need to try it!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 17, 2017 at 6:42 am

      Hi Cristina, your words are so kind, and I truly appreciate them. I have learned through my life that gratitude goes a long way in trying times . We soon forget that it is okay to break from the misery and have some fun, laugh socialize, give illness a break. A laugh is ten times more powerful than pharmaceuticals, not to say that pharmaceuticals don’t have a place, just like the side effects of laughter better. I think you are going to love this combination, the squash and Thai spices go so well together.
      Have a great week!
      Cheers
      Loreto

      Loreto

  • Reply Hilary January 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Oh yum, this sounds so decadent! I love that you mixed squash and potatoes, and anything red curry and coconut gets a gold star in my books. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 17, 2017 at 6:45 am

      Thank you Hillary. Me too I love red curry coconut combinations, whether with poultry, seafood, it has so much aroma and flavor. You are so right on the squash and potato combination, it brings so much smoothness and substance to this recipe. I love when you bite in and that potato just fall apart in your mouth mixing with the spices and sweetness of the squash, double yummy!
      Happy Cooking
      Loreto

  • Reply Maria January 16, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    This dish looks absolutely wonderful. One can easily be transported by such wonderful flavors… very exotic indeed. Sending you both positive vibes ♥♥♥

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 17, 2017 at 6:49 am

      Thanks a bunch Maria! Always love positive vibes. I always say that life is like a bank account, you can’t always be giving and not receiving, as you can’t always be taking money out and not putting back. We know the end of that, emotional and physical bankruptcy! When I cook I try to put lots of great energy into the food, in return people appreciate it and the circle continues, this is the best part of cooking knowing that you are giving something back.
      Have a most joyous day!
      Cheers!
      loreto

  • Reply Balvinder January 17, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Literally one of the best curry recipes ! And a simpler one, too 🙂 I have yet to try with squash, though. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Hi Balvinder, thank you. It was quite easy and so so delicious, the smells in the house amazing, always reminds me of a restaurant when we walk into our house, not a bad thing, lol.You are so welcome for the inspiration, that’s what this blog is all about inspiring people!
      Have a wonderful Day!
      Loreto

  • Reply Julia January 17, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I’ve never cooked with this kind of squash. I’m usually only using spaghetti and butternut squashes but I should definitely expand my squash horizons!!! This meal looks so vibrant and pretty! And delicious and healthy 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 17, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Thank you Julia, we had a lot of fun making it. I have to warn you, this type of squash is quite firm so be careful cutting into it. That being said it was so delicious so well worth the effort.
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Samantha @mykitchenlove January 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I don’t love Hubbard squash, but I feel as though the red curry would be a great compliment to it. I need to use curry more, my kids love it and I want to make sure they keep those taste buds alive. Great post!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 19, 2017 at 4:37 am

      Hi Samantha, its great that your children love curry, it shows they have good pallet and are adventurous when it comes to ethnic dishes. As far as the squash when we first seen it I thought wow that is one ugly funky looking vegetable, but the wonderful people at Riverbend Gardens assured us that the flavor was amazing, and so we took a risk and bought it. Well the outcome delicious, the squash was a perfect mate for the red curry sauce. I truly hope you try this, I am sure your children will love it.
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Dana January 18, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I can taste this dish as I look at it, Loreto! It looks fantastic! Red curry and squash are BFF’s in my books. Served over rice as y’all have done, and I’m in a state of euphoria. As always, fab work. I love following yours and Nicoletta’s culinary journeys.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 19, 2017 at 4:49 am

      Thank you Dana, you are always so kind. Nicoletta and I truly enjoyed this dish, and you are right rice and this combination, a perfect match. I love the smell of rice as it cooks so fragrant and nutty and the way it just absorbs the flavors of it’s accompaniment still keeping its toothy crunch.
      Happy Cooking Dana!
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Reply Mel @ The Refreshanista January 19, 2017 at 6:21 am

    WOW this looks so so so good! I love all those veggies and fragrant spices in there, I can just imagine how delicious it smells 🙂 I can’t believe it only takes 45 minutes! I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my list of dinner recipes to try.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Mel, it is a great recipe and so quick to make. You are going to love the array of flavors and be prepared to be swept away from the aromas in your kitchen!
      Have a wonderful rest of the week.
      Loreto

  • Reply Katrin February 10, 2017 at 4:28 am

    I love curry and this one looks like it needs to be tried out asap. Thanks for sharing!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 10, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Hey Katrin, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to see our post. You are going to love the flavors in this dish. The red curry and squash go hand in hand and I just love when you smell the combination of the red curry coconut and nutty steamed rice.
      Perfect recipe for a craving!
      Happy Cooking
      Loreto

  • Reply Kitty February 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Love squash in Thai food! It adds all that sweetness without lots of sugar. Can tell that this recipe has a nice depth of authentic flavor.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 14, 2017 at 3:50 am

      Thank you Kitty, I love Asian cuisine and especially Thai food. That combination of curry and coconut milk is one that gets you right from the aroma stage, add in some herbs and you have a recipe for success! one that will have your family at the table in no time ready to eat.
      Have a great week!
      Loreto

  • Reply acanadianfoodie March 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Looks deeply complex, exotic and satisfying on a cold winter’s eve – great photos -and love the song! Listened to it as I read the post!
    Hugs,
    V

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 5, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Hi Valerie, thank you so much for visiting our blog. I would have to say that Thai cuisine is amongst my favorites to develop. The layering of flavors, and the oh so comforting profiles of texture, leave me with plenty of creativity, and an appetite. You are one of a select few who took the song in, love that, music is a huge part of me and am so glad you took in that experience, along with this most flavorful recipe.
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Cheers!
      Loreto

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