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Butternut Squash and Spinach Pesto with Rice (vegan)

December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays!

With the new house and toddler’s fresh perspective on the holidays, we were excited to decorate early (ahem, day after Thanksgiving), but clueless on what to do with the house. With all of this space, and an exterior to worry about, we sort of got decorator’s block. After putting up the tree, and discussing the possibility of exterior lights, we fizzled out. Then, a plague hit our house for a week, where I was unfunctional, which meant just about everything was delayed. Sometimes plagues can bring good things, and for us it delayed the holiday spirit.

So, I have slowly been making a few items to help decorate and fill our home. For me, holiday spirit isn’t about buying things, but taking the time to make things for others. So far the elves over here have made–

A felt tree for Serafina to decorate on her own. The ornaments can be used to teach numbers, shapes, and colors.

White ornaments for the tree, or bowls:

These are little globes that fan out. I have made 8 of them for nieces, nephews, godchildren, and Serafina. To be embroidered at a later date.

An advent calendar, good for year after year:

An advent calendar from The Purl Bee. It is slightly altered from the original. Each square is big enough for minature candy, or a starbucks instant coffee stick, such as for Christmas Eve.

Finally, tonight, Serafina and I wrapped the tiny Japanese Maple in front of our house, and that seemed to put us in good holiday spirit. The final holiday project will be to embroider a few ornaments for the nieces and nephews and make Serafina’s stocking….then on to trying to discover some good holiday recipes.

Due to the sewing and sickness, we have been keeping things simple over here. This meal is similar to a few other things I make, but we enjoyed it for a week night meal, and I figure it is good to share the simple recipes.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Pesto with Rice (vegan)

  • olive oil
  • 1 large Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 5 cups of baby spinach, sliced
  • 2 cups of sliced almonds
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tb parsley
  • 2 tb butter/substitute
  • 2 cups of basmati rice

1. Preheat the oven to 375

2. Mix the squash with 1/3 cup of olive oil and sea salt. Place in a baking dish, and cook for 45 minutes

3. Meanwhile, boil your rice, parsley,  and butter substitute, with a pinch of salt. Bring the water down, and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Check occasionally to stir.

4. In a food processor, throw in the garlic, peppercorns, spinach and almonds. Pulse the mixture, while slowly pouring a cup or two of olive oil.

5. On a plate, place 1/3 cup of rice, 1/3 cup of squash, 2 tb of pesto on top. Garnish with leftover sliced almonds. Serve.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. lisa ober permalink
    December 19, 2011 11:15 am

    I’m making an pork tenderlion with an asian flare for my families christmast dinner, My new sister in law is a vegitarian any ideas for a filling side dish to accompany my main dish?


    • December 19, 2011 11:50 am

      Try some sliced veggies on top of a puff pastry. It is easy to make, pretty to serve, and a crowd pleaser. I have a bunch of puff pastry recipes, just write puff pastry in the search window in the top right corner. My most recent one is

  2. December 24, 2011 10:10 am

    DELICIOUS!! This might be our Christmas Eve dinner tonight! Thanks so much for the goodness!

    Shelby, the Present Chef

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