Sarah's Kitchen Creations: Local Butternut Squash Pecan Goat Cheese Wild Rice Grain Bowl

WHAT YOU NEED FOR LOCAL BUTTERNUT SQUASH PECAN GOAT CHEESE WILD RICE GRAIN BOWL:

1 cup of native-harvested wild rice or regional wild rice from the Great Lakes

1 T. Better than Bouillon concentrated broth paste or bouillon cube

1 container local chevre goat cheese from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

1 local and organic butternut squash from Blue Moon Farm

2 local and organic leeks from PrairiErth Farm

2 sprigs local thyme from Green Pantry Nursery

Local and organic salad greens from Blue Moon Farm

Local rainbow microgreens from Living Water Farms

1/8 cup regional bulk pecans from Voss

3-4 T. Olive oil or any preferred oil

DIRECTIONS:

1) Measure 1 cup of wild rice and rinse thoroughly in warm water through a sieve until cleaned. In a small sauce pan, add wild rice, bouillon, and 3 cups of water. Bring to boil over high heat then add a lid and reduce the temperature to a low simmer for about 20 minutes or until the wild rice is cooked but grains are not yet split open.

2) Preheat oven to 400F and using a large chef's knife cut off the top and bottom of the butternut squash. Slice the butternut down the middle lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Oil the halves lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can face them flesh down or skin side down - either way it will turn out well. TIP #1: You can pinch the stem of the thyme sprig and use your other hand to remove the small thyme leaves by tightly sliding up the sprig to remove them all at once. TIP#2: If you are weary of slicing up the squash with your knife, you can also roast it whole, it just might take a tad longer. Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes or until a fork can easily slide into the flesh. Remove from oven and let slightly cool.

3) While the squash and rice are cooking, it's time to work on cooking the leeks. Thoroughly wash the inner leaves of the leeks and then slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Slice thinly width-wise and keep chopping to include a decent portion of the greens. You can eat the green part of the leeks as well as the white section, so don't waste it because it all tastes delicious sautéed. Using a tab of butter or olive oil, cook the leeks on high until they start to caramelize, adding a little salt and pepper and let them loose their liquid.

4) Once everything is fully cooked, plate up your salad greens, wild rice, diced up butternut squash (with or without skin), leeks, dollops of goat cheese, and garnish with microgreens and pecans. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve!