Red Rice with Roasted Squash, Fennel and Beets


My husband has this silly notion that I need to eat meat every single day.  I don’t understand where he’s gotten this idea.  Yes, I like to eat meat.  No, I probably won’t ever become a vegetarian.  Each time he jests (not maliciously) about my carnivorous inclinations, I laugh (not sincerely).  I serve meat once, twice, maybe three times a week.  We are part-time vegetarians.  I wonder why being labeled (even jokingly) as a strict carnivore seems almost an affront.  Because it implies that I don’t know how to balance my diet?  My best explanation for my eating habits is that I follow my cravings.  Some weeks I crave more chicken, fish or pork.  Some other weeks, they don’t appeal to me at all.  I like to think my body knows what it needs.

Take tonight’s dinner, for example.  My current favorite starch is red rice.  I picked up a bag of Thai Jasmine red rice recently and really liked it.  It’s not quite as dense as brown rice but it has the same nutty quality with the mouth feel of white rice.  Stir fried with a little oil, garlic and soy sauce, it’s been a tasty, easy side to prepare.

On my way home from the office tonight, I knew that red rice would be part of our dinner.  I also had an acorn squash that needed to be roasted.  What else, though?  I needed something else to round out the meal.

Contrary to what my husband would have expected, I arrived home with more vegetables.  I skipped the meat counter and didn’t even consider picking up a roast chicken (at least not tonight).  I picked up beets–been craving them (see what I mean?).  I also wanted to give fennel another chance.  I was never fond of its anise-y flavor but I had a bite at a restaurant recently that left me reconsidering my dislike for it.  The cast of characters in place, I set about roasting them.

The vegetables were fantastic together.  The sugars caramelized to bring out their mild sweetness but all had different qualities that complemented each other in both taste and texture. I even loved the fennel since the licorice flavor mellowed a lot during roasting.  And the colors–compliments of Mother Nature–are a feast for the eyes.

Never one to eat things as-is, I dressed the rice and veggies with a vinegar, garlic, salt and soy sauce mixture (a common Filipino dipping sauce).  Just a little to balance out the sweetness of the veggies and also so the rice wouldn’t be too dry.  In went some chopped chives and chopped Italian parsley since I already had them in the fridge (turned out to be a very nice addition).

You know how some things were just meant to be together?  This is how I feel about red rice and this trio of veggies.  This was a truly satisfying meal and there’s nary a piece of meat in sight.  I’ll be making this again and again.



5.0 from 8 reviews
Red Rice with Roasted Squash, Fennel and Beets
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2-3
  • ***For the veggies***
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 golden beets, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 3 red beets, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered
  • olive oil for tossing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Granulated garlic (not garlic salt) or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • **For the rice***
  • 1 cup red rice (cargo rice, red Thai Jasmine rice)
  • water
  • chopped parsley
  • chopped chives
  • ***For condiment***
  • White vinegar (a few tablespoons to ¼ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt, just a pinch or two
  • soy sauce, a few dashes
  1. To prepare the rice: Rinse the rice and transfer to a 2-quart (or similar size) sauce pan. Add water to cover rice. I always use the finger-joint method and dip my middle finger into the water until it touches the top of the rice in the pan. The water level should reach the first joint of your middle finger. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes.
  2. To roast the veggies: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Toss the veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer and bake for about 40-45 minutes until the vegetables are tender. You might want to toss the veggies once or twice while roasting them.
  3. Five minutes before you take the veggies out of the oven, sprinkle the granulated or fresh crushed garlic over the top. Roast for a few more minutes to allow the garlic to cook before taking out of the oven.
  4. To prepare the condiment: Combine the vinegar, garlic, salt and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  5. To assemble: Place one serving of rice and veggies on a plate. Drizzle a teaspoon or two of the vinegar/garlic condiment and garnish with chopped parsley and chives. Serve warm.





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  1. The red rice is so beautiful and the roasted veggies are the perfect way to show it off!

  2. three of my all time fave veggies, roasted! I’ve been such a beet and squash freak lately, its good for what ails ya 🙂 (so, i got the same cravings too!) havent tried red jasmine rice but i love me some red rice, will check that one out.

  3. Jean, this is an absolutely beautiful dish! The assortment of golden orange, brown, red, and green reminds me the colourful season that’s unfolding outside my window.

    You’re right about our bodies telling us exactly what’s needed. When we crave something, it’s usually a sign that something is missing. (It’s my mouth that gets me into trouble by begging for sweets.) 😀

  4. Hi Jean, again-beautiful colors and textures in your photos! I have to pick up some red rice;-) Your dish is so fall-ish with the roasted veggies and yes, I would be very satisfied with this for dinner-who needs meat every night?

  5. I had to laugh at your post!! Your husband sounds like my husband!! As I’ve passed 40, somehow my craving for meat has diminished, and when he is on the road, we frequently will have a non-meat meal. When he’s home however, we don’t do that very frequently.
    I love this dish! As a matter of fact, it just may make it to my table this evening (husband is on the road!), however I have not seen the red rice. Will have to keep my eyes open for that one.
    I’m with you on the fennel. I actually have some, but this is the first time I’ve purchased it. I have a friend who uses it often, and the dishes she makes I enjoy. So I’m giving it a go.
    Well done Jean!!

    • Theresa says:

      Hi Kim,
      If you live in Ct there’s an asian market in West Hartford called Dong’s supermarket. They have red rice & lots of other different things
      I hope that helps.

  6. I’m probably more of a carnivore than you are! Haha! My husband has to eat meat EVERY DAY, or else he feels week! But his metabolism is so good that he manages to stay slim all his life. I, on the other hand, try not to eat meat every day, but unfortunately, I’m the one who looks chunky!!! Argh! Anyway, what a lovely dish! I need to pick up some Thai red rice to try – you’ve convinced me!

  7. I am lucky that way. The husband doesn’t crave for meat as much. I too go for craving, and this sounds comforting Jean!

  8. The dish is truly a feast for the eyes. Love roasted veggies this season. They just add an oomph to any dish. Red rice – need to try it. Sounds great!

  9. I love your eating philosophy, Jean…it makes complete sense. I’m not a vegetarian either, but my hubby also jokes about it. Funnily enough, if I didn’t crave things like fish, roast chicken, or a juicy lamb burger every so often I think I probably would be vegetarian! 🙂

    I’ve never had red rice and I’m really wanting to try it — what a beautiful meal!

  10. I love the dish. It’s not only healthy, beautiful and I know it tasted good too. Those are all “sweet” vegetables and the vinegar and soy sauce were a perfect balance. Well done!

  11. I love such healthy one pot meals! The roasted veggies must have made all the good difference to the rice. Looks so delicious. Even my husband jokes about my love with meats but I do make vegetarian good once a week 🙂

  12. Oh Jean – you guys sound like us! I have not heard of red rice, so now I have something new to try. The older I get, the less meat that I crave, like you I would never become a vegetarian but the part-time status works for me. Lovely photos!!! Love this dish!

  13. I certainly enjoy meat but we have vegetarian one or two times a week to balance out our nutrition because too much meat is not the best for the health, it seems. But then again, there are so many conflicting ideas about nutrition that it’s hard to keep up.

  14. Jean, this is gorgeous presentation, and I love it!!! The plate/bowl is beautiful and squash and beet’s color gives beautiful accent. Although I’ve never tried red rice before I’m now very curious to taste it.

  15. Picture perfect recipe!!!

  16. Oh my! This is topping my must make dinner list! I love everything about it!
    My mom still has a hard time understanding how I can make meals without meat… she says that a meal without meat is a meal with only side-dishes. 🙂

  17. That is a wow moment. The colors and texture are terrific. I hope to see you in SF this weekend. Email me if you’re going we have some extracurricular fun plan too. GREG

  18. I love how vibrant this salad is – the natural beauty of fresh produce shines in this dish!

  19. Jean, I am in love with the colors of this rustic fall/winter dish!

  20. Anne Boyd says:

    I just made this and it is delicious. I was looking for a recipe for these ingredients and this is a brilliant combo. I used a mix of wheat berries and kamut kernels instead of the rice. Btw, I am a vegetarian of 25 years! This recipe has been added to my favourites!

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Anne, your comment made me so happy! Thanks so much for trying out my recipe–so glad you liked it. 🙂

  21. What a great dish! I feel the same way about following your bodies cravings. My husband is the carnivore in our house, so I cook more meet than I crave. But we too have many vegetarian or vegan meals. This would be a great addition.

  22. Great clicks and wonderful combination! The kind of dish I could eat on a daily/weekly basis…



  23. This looks great. I have some beets on my counter I’m trying to decide what to do with for lunch today, and I have some fennel too. I may try a variation of this recipe (no squash or rice to be found here) 🙂

  24. It looks like a pretty meal! We are vegans and always looking for some new good tasting recipes. I have never had red rice, but maybe will give it a try. I love squash, but don’t tend to cook beets (although I like them.)

    Thanks for the recipe:-)

  25. I am sure that if I tried to duplicate this, it wouldn’t look nearly this fantastic. This is such a crisp recipe… is that a weird adjective to use?

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      No, actually I understand what you mean by crisp. 🙂 I bet if you prepared this, it would look just as pretty–Mother Nature did everything here. Glad you like it. 🙂

  26. I wish I’d seen your post last week when I roasted squash and beets and couldn’t come up with any inspired ways to serve it! I’m in love with Lotus Foods Bhutanese Red rice and, not a fennel fan, this dish has convinced me to try roasting it and give it a second chance 🙂

  27. I’m going to try something very similar to this for dinner tonight. Thanks so much for the inspiration! Although I doubt my version of the dish will look nearly as beautiful as yours. Yours pictures are simply incredible. They nearly had me drooling!

  28. I was trying out red rice recipes too! Would love to know what you think about what I did here

  29. Ththe The dish looks so beautiful and tempting…will definitely dry with red rice. Although I have been making beets and fennel salad but this is so tempting.


  1. […] Red Rice with Roasted Squash, Fennel and Beets […]

  2. […] Red Rice with Roasted Squash, Fennel & Beets […]

  3. […] like to try out whilst there’s fennel about: ★ cider-braised pork with fennel, ★ red rice with roasted squash, fennel and beetroot (looks utterly beautiful!) and ★ a simple fennel and feta linguine. (And whilst we’re at […]

  4. […] like to try out whilst there’s fennel about: ★ cider-braised pork with fennel, ★ red rice with roasted squash, fennel and beetroot (looks utterly beautiful!) and ★ a simple fennel and feta linguine. (And whilst we’re at […]

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