1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
a pinch of salt
2 pounds butternut squash
2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup sliced shallot
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable broth.
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (for the squash) and cook your rice according to the package directions, or however you prefer to cook rice. I rinse the rice and then add it to a 2 quart pot along with the water and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once its boiling, immediately lower the heat as long as it will go and cook for about an hour.
2. For the squash, slice off the bulbous part. Slice in half lengthwise, exposing the seeds. Scoop the seeds out with a tablespoon. Slice the long part of the squash in half lengthwise as well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash face down on the sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes. Once it's soft enough to pierce with a fork, remove it from the oven and let it cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, proceed. (You can skip baking squash entirely by buying a can of butternut squash puree!)
3. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallot in the oil, using a little nonstick cooking spray if needed, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, lime zest, red pepper flakes, and salt, and saute for another 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to low.
4. Scoop out the flesh out of the squash and add it to the pan, along with the coconut milk. Use a potato masher (or a fork) to mash the butternut squash to a creamy consistency. Add the rice and stir well. Add 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth. and mix well. You can add up to another 1/4 cup of broth to get a creamier consistency if you like. Add the lime juice, taste for salt, and serve!
If you want to add a little bit of coconutty goodness, you can add a tablespoon of toasted coconut to each finished serving. It lends a lot of flavor and texture, if you have some extra tie and calories burning in your pocket.
To toast coconut, preheat a large pan over low heat and place 6 tablespoons of shredded (unsweetened) coconut in the pan. Stir often. The coconut will start to toast and turn a few shades darker. It should take about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately.