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It's All In The Rice

Getting children (and let's face it, many adults too) to eat their veggies can be a struggle. Whether it is the taste, texture, or even the color many people find it difficult to adapt their palates to the nutrient dense, calorie light fare of the legume family.

Thankfully there are ways to get in the good stuff that are not only easy, but delicious as well. The key is in the carrier. Combining vegetables with foods we already love and eat regularly is a sneaky way to incorporate them into our diets.

On May 12, Chef Maria Anderson of TerraBites brought her culinary skills to Forty Acres Fresh Market and showed us how to use vegetables and herbs to jazz up leftover rice. Not only is this recipe healthy (chock full of vitamin A, iron, and fiber), it reduces waste by using the edible parts of food that most people toss in the trash. It also costs less than $5 to make with many ingredients sold at Forty Acres Fresh Market. Most importantly it tastes great!


1 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup day old white rice

.5 cup yellow onion, diced (69¢/lb)

1 cup kale leaves, finely chopped (69¢/bunch)

kale stems, finely sliced (69¢/bunch)

1 cup butternut squash, diced (69¢/lb)

.25 cup water

1 lb unsalted sweet cream butter

1 bulb garlic ($2.19/lb)

1 tbsp thyme ($2.00/1oz pack)

Zest of 1 lemon (33¢)

Juice of 1 lemon (33¢)

1 tsp crushed pepper

(bolded items available at Forty Acres Fresh Market)

Watch Chef Maria as she takes you through this simple recipe step by step.

Meet Chef Maria. Gather your ingredients as she explains what's in store.

Add coconut oil to a skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onions until they begin to brown. Check out the video to learn how cooking onions changes their flavor profile.

Add kale stems to skillet and sauté with the onions. Watch as Chef Maria demonstrates how she turns kale stems from trash to featured ingredient.

Add squash and mix with onions and kale stems. Add 1/4 cup of water and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 7-10 minutes until squash is tender. Press play to out why Chef Maria recommends using water in this recipe.

Time for more greenery! Sprinkle finely chopped kale leaves on top of the squash, kale stems, and onion mixture and remove from heat. Chef Maria gives the secret to sneaking fresh greens into her children's meals.


Grab your butter, garlic, thyme, lemon, and pepper. Soften butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Remove the skin and finely chop (or crush) one garlic bulb. Remove leaves from the bunches of thyme, roughly chop and add to the butter.

Zest the entire lemon with a grater and add to the butter. Slice a thin wedge from the lemon and squeeze the juice into the butter, careful not to let the seeds fall in too. Add the pepper. Then mix with a fork to blend all ingredients.

Watch Chef Maria explain the difference between real butter and margarine then demonstrate how to kick your butter up a notch.


Chef Maria shares her sneaky secret for getting her kids to try new foods. HINT: It's the rice!

Add 1 cup day old or frozen rice to the squash, kale stems, leaves, and onions. Stir together and mix well. Watch Chef Maria explain why she uses day old or frozen rice in this recipe.

Form a hole in the middle of the rice mixture. Add about 1 tsp of the herb butter and stir well. Make sure that the rice is heated thoroughly. Salt to taste. Serve hot. Watch Chef Maria put the finishing touches on this quick, simple meal.

Enjoy! Let us know how your version turned out in the comments.

Want to learn more ways to incorporate fresh vegetables into your diet? Come see Chef Maria demonstrate more delectable recipes at Forty Acres Fresh Market's pop-up produce market on June 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

*Produce pricing subject to change


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