Stuffed Squash with Wild Rice


6 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, insides scooped out and reserved
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika


4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought
5 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
1 cup wild rice
1 cup organic brown rice
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
4 Portobello mushroom caps, dark gills scraped away and discarded, mushrooms coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 (14-ounce) bag frozen pearl onions, thawed and dried well
1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from half a lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Drizzle a rimmed a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place the squash on the tray and roll it around in the oil. Season with squash with 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and roast, cut side down for 30 minutes or until just tender and beginning to brown.
  3. Separate the seeds from the flesh of the squash until you have 1/2 cup of seeds. Rinse and drain well. Place on a small baking sheet and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon paprika. Roast for the last 10 minutes with the squash or until toasted. Drain the seeds on a paper towel lined plate.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the broth and the thyme and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the wild rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the brown rice and 1/4 cup olive oil and bring to boil. Return the heat to medium low; cover and simmer until all the rice is tender (but still slightly chewy), about 30 minutes longer.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the mushrooms. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook stirring often for about 10 minutes or until the water has evaporated the mushrooms are brown.
  7. Add the pearl onions and sauté until golden, another 7 to 8 minutes.
  8. Stir the Brussels sprouts into the skillet with the mushrooms and sauté until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
  9. Season with the remaining salt and paprika. Pour the vegetable mixture into a large bowl. Add the rice mixture with any remaining liquid and the chopped thyme and toss gently to blend.
  10. Spoon the rice stuffing into the roasted squash halves, dividing evenly. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, just to heat through.
  11. Squeeze the lemon juice over the hot stuffing and sprinkle with the toasted seeds. Serve hot.

Makes 6 to 12 servings.

Source: Chef Giada De Laurentiis

Glutinous Rice Sweet Potato Balls


300 g glutinous rice flour
200 g sweet potatoes
2 tbsps tapioca flour
10 pandan leaves
a few drops of green food colouring
a pinch of salt
100 g palm sugar (grated and mixed with 1 tbsp castor sugar)
250 g grated white coconut


  1. Steam grated white coconut on 2 pieces pandan leaves with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Remove skin of sweet potatoes and steam for 15 minutes or until cooked. Mash while still warm.
  3. Crush pandan leaves till fine. Add water to make 200 ml pandan juice. Filter to remove leaves. Add salt and green food colouring.
  4. Put glutinous rice flour and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Add in mashed sweet potatoes. Pour in pandan juice and knead till dough is smooth and spongy. If it is too dry, add some more water.
  5. Pinch a small lump of dough. Roll into a ball and flatten. Put a little palm sugar at the centre and seal well. Place the balls in a bowl.
  6. Bring a big saucepan of water to the boil. Drop the balls into the boiling water. When the balls rise to the surface, keep boiling for another 2 minutes. Scoop up each ball with a strainer and coat in grated coconut.

Source: Delicious Nyonya Kueh and Dessert

Duck Breast with Spanish Olives and Oranges and Rice Pilaf with Almonds


6 boneless, skin-on duck breast halves (2-1/2 to 2-3/4 pounds total)
salt and fleshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives (not pimiento stuffed)
Rice Pilaf with Almonds (recipe follows) for serving


  1. Score the fat covering each duck breast in a diamond pattern without cutting into the meat. Use a very sharp knife and make short cuts to control the knife more effectively. Press down and move the knife slowly back and forth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the skin is dark brown.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high, turn, and cook 7 to 8 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a breast registers 140°F for medium-rare.
  4. Pour off excess fat as it accumulates in the pan. Transfer the meat to a plate and loosely tent with aluminum foil.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the shallots and pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until softened.
  6. Add the sherry, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add the orange juice and stock and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
  8. Add the orange segments and any accumulated juice, the olives, and any juices from the duck. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the orange segments and olives are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Cut the duck breast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  10. Spoon some of the sauce with the orange segments and olives over the meat and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the pilaf.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds


1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cinnamon stick


  1. Spread the almonds in a dry skillet. Toast over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion for about 4 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute to coat the rice with oil.
  4. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the cinnamon stick, stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the toasted almonds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Lobel’s Prime Cuts

Sweet Brown Rice Porridge with Sweet Corn and Chestnut


1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
152 g shelled chestnuts
8 red dates (seeded)
4 shelled dried longans
1/2 cup brown rice
sugar to taste


  1. Rinse the sweet corn kernels, red dates and dried longans.
  2. Rinse the brown rice.
  3. Soak chestnuts in boiling hot water for a while. Then peel them.
  4. Boil 10 cups of water. Add sweet corn kernels, chestnuts, red dates, dried longans and brown rice.
  5. Bring to the boil again and switch to low heat. Simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Season with sugar. Serve hot.

Source: Tasty Low-fat Desserts

Peruvian-style Quinoa Tamales with Sarza Criolla


2 cups of quinoa rinsed
1/4 cup rice flour
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp turmeric or 2 tbsp aji panca paste
2 tsp ground garlic
1/4 cup grape seed oil or oil of preference


1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic
1/4 cup of grape seed oil
1 small size yellow onion diced
1 medium size zucchini, diced small
1 medium size goose-neck squash, diced small
1 pint diced mini portabella mushroom
2 roasted and diced poblano or hatch peppers

Sarza Criolla

1 med size red onion thinly sliced and rinsed
1 large lime
salt to taste


Softened banana leaves or soaked corn husks


  1. Cook the quinoa until soften making sure not to overcook about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain but do not rinse.
  3. In a pot heat the oil and add the turmeric or aji, and the garlic and sauté lightly being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa, add the salt and pepper and continue to cook together for about 3 more minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and incorporate the rice flour.
  6. To make the filling, Heat a medium size pot and add the oil.
  7. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
  8. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  9. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients and cook until tender but careful not to overcook.
  10. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. To assemble the tamales place about a 1/4 of a cup of quinoa in the center of the husk or banana leaf and put a spoon full of the filling in the center. Carefully wrap the husk to form the tamale and wrap them individually tightly in aluminum foil and set aside. Once all the tamales are done place them in a pot and cover them in water and place the lid on the pot. Cook the tamales for 30 minutes and remove them from the water. Allow the to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving them.
  12. To make the sarza simply put the onions in a bowl and add the salt and lime juice and allow them to cure for about 5 minutes. If you prefer to make spicy add a slice of pepper to the onions.
  13. Plate the tamale out of the wrap on a plate and top it with the sarza. Enjoy!

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Chef Karla Flores-Ybaceta