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Stuffed Butternut Squash

baked butternut-576008-edited

You've heard of stuffed peppers, so why not stuffed butternut squash? Butternut squash is low in fat and delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 2 servings

OPN Conversion: 1 protein + 1 vegetable + 2 starch + 1 fat

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

  • 1/4 cup quinoa

  • 3/4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 8oz skinless boneless chicken breast, diced  

  •  About 3 lightly packed cups of Kale with steams removed 

  • 1 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • Pinch of salt

  • Dash of pepper

  • ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • Zest of 1 orange, plus ½ tablespoon fresh orange juice

  • 1/4 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries

  • 1oz Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese, to top 

Instructions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Halve the butternut squash while scooping out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking sheet with the cut sides up. Then drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

  3. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender eventually (remove from the oven and let cool once done).

  4. While the squash is baking, place the broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then set aside.

  5. Finely dice chicken into small cubes and cook on the stove top on medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked. Then side aside

  6. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive over medium. Add the kale and cook until wilted (about 4 minutes), then reduce the heat to medium low. Add in the garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper as desired. Cook 30 additional seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries and chicken.

  7. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom. Reserve the flesh for another use (or if you don’t mind a super stuffed squash, mix it in with the rest of the filling).

  8. Stuff the filling into the squash halves, then return the squash to the oven at a reduced temperature of 375 degrees.

  9. . Bake about 10 additional minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve warm

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