Friday, 8 January 2016

Fun Food Friday - Chicken & Veg Stuffed Squash

Friday of the first week of new year!  How are the resolutions going?  A number of people in my classes this week talked about indulging and working out less over the break and I don't think that is a bad thing.  I feel that taking a break around Christmas and the New Year as well as in the summer gives us a chance to reset.  Life is busy enough so sneaking in a few treats and taking some time off from exercise isn't necessarily negative unless we make that behaviour a habit. 

This week I've had a huge focus on lean protein and veggies in my food choices and this stuffed squash was perfect for providing a meal that was filling and nutrient dense.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can adjust the fillings to suit your own tastes.  The chicken can be substituted for chick peas or any other legume as well as the veggies.

The combination of complex carbohydrates along with the protein in this meal are digested slowly allowing you to feel full longer.  This entire meal is a nutrient powerhouse.  You are getting vitamin C from the pepper, beta carotene from the carrots, omega 3's and zinc from the pumpkin seeds.  Not to mention lean protein from the chicken and fibre from the squash and a ton of antioxidants.

So here's to reestablishing healthy habits!

Chicken & Veg Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1cup green beans
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place 1 teaspoon butter in each half of squash, season with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

While squash is baking, cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Melt remaining butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté chicken with garlic, onions and mushrooms until chicken is no longer pink and onions are transparent. Add pepper cooking for 2-3 minutes longer. Add beans and carrots along with water or stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until the liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender. Stir in spices and Worcestershire sauce and remove from heat.

Once squash has been cooked, remove from oven and place cut side up on plates. Fill with chicken and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and season to taste.
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