Heavenly Squash, Cranberries, and Rice

(Serves 8)

Here the tart cranberries are balanced with the sweetness of caramelized onions, sweet winter squash, and currants.
Top this beautiful dish with toasted nuts for special occasions.
Try serving this with braised winter greens and warm country cornbread.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive, canola, or light sesame oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups cut-up butternut squash (1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 21/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and jalapeño.
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions are transparent.
Remove lid and cook on low for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned.
Add the apple juice, currants, cranberries, and squash.
Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until squash is fork-tender and berries are soft.
Blend in salt. Stir in rice and continue to cook until rice is heated.
Remove to serving bowl.   Mix in chopped celery.
Top with toasted nuts, if desired.

without walnuts:   Total calories per serving: 157

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