Thursday, June 05, 2014

Butternut Squash-Seitan Medley, Jade Pearl Rice with Onion (No Added Fat)

We were in a bit of a rush for dinner tonight. My wife had a meeting about her interesting Meet at Park application and my daughter and I were going to a book launch of our friend Carl Nordgren's first published novel, The 53rd Parallel. Thankfully, we have the Instant Pot to put a quality dish together quickly.

I wanted to try cooking with frozen squash. We all like seitan, and it's been a little while since I've cooked with it. Here is what I did.

  • 5 ounces frozen butternut squash chunks (maybe 1" cubes) - fresh is fine, but I find butternut squash difficult to cut and either cook it halved or, if I want cubes, but it frozen, as I did for today (I find it in a 10 ounce bag)
  • Small shallot cut lengthwise into a half dozen pieces (so approximately 2" x 3/8")
  • 2T onion cut into small but thick half moons (maybe 1/2" x 1 1/2")
  • 8 medium white or crimini mushrooms, halved
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • 2t rosemary needles
  • 4 ounces seitan strips

  1. I was surprised that the Instant Pot cooking time chart shows about 10m for frozen butternut squash chunks; I would have guessed much less. In any case, I put the squash, shallot, onion, mushroom, bouillon cube, water, and salt into the Instant Pot and cooked on high pressure for 10m.
  2. Ideally, I would have waited 10m or a bit more for the pot to come down in temperature so that the pot could naturally depressurize, but my wife was running late for a meeting, so I slowly reduced pressure after a few minutes by gradually slowly opening the pressure release valve.
  3. Once the pot was open, I added the rosemary and seitan, and stirred.
  4. I let the pot sit for a few minutes to allow the seitan to warm, then served with hot sauce.
I also made some Jade pearl rice, perhaps now my favorite type, even more than Madagascar pink - it just comes out so creamy and tasty! I briefly sautéed in a 1 quart stock pan a bit of slivered onion with no added fat just for a minute and a half or so, then added a part of rice to a part and a half of water plus a vegan bouillon cube, brought to a boil, then reduced heat to simmer over low heat for about 20m. A slice of yellow tomato completed the meal.


My wife, daughter, and I loved the meal. My intuition, however, was right - the squash was overly cooked. It wasn't a problem, but could have been made in less time, using less energy, and resulting in more texture.

My Dad, visiting with us for a few weeks, wanted a soup, so I blended a bit of the completed squash (before adding seitan) with more water, kale, and jalapeno for him. I served with a bit of cilantro. (Alas, he normally likes heat, but this time found the soup too spicy.)

Ideas for the future

I really liked the main course and know that I can improve upon it. Here are a few things that I'd like to do in the future:
  • A bit of ginger and jalapeno would be great, added along with the squash and other ingredients initially. My daughter doesn't like either, so I left them both out.
  • This dish could have cooked in much less time. I'd like to try cooking with frozen butternut squash cubes in maybe 5m of high pressure cooking time.
  • I could have gone with a bit less water, perhaps 1/4 cup. However, the liquid was tasty and would make a good gravy.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home