Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stuffed butternut squash - a Slimming World recipe

I'm not doing too badly at Slimming World - steadily losing a pound or so a week. I struggle with snacks, as there's only so much fruit that is appealing and in season at this time of year and as I can't have dairy products, lots of the suggested snacky bits are off the table for me.

I'm finding lots of inspiration for recipes on line, and either adapting things like paella, or using other people's slimming world recipes as a starting point for my own tastes. I've set up a Pinterest board for recipes that already are suitable, or I think could be adapted... it's here, and if you'd like to be added to submit either things you've tried or dishes you've found online then drop me a line in the comments, or via email.

This is one of those recipes - adapted from here. I ended up making a few changes, based mainly on the fact that I tend not to shop specifically for a recipe any longer - see this post for why. I actually really enjoyed it and would definitely make it again. I would also say that for us, this easily did 4 portions, plus loads of the topping for the freezer.

If you're doing SP (which I haven't yet) I think this would work as there's no carbs in there. If you know SP well, and could comment below, that'd be terrific. 

Stuffed Butternut squash

1 butternut squash, halved lengthways
300g chicken breast (it was one of that week's Special buys at Aldi, otherwise I'd have used thighs)
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 sticks of celery finely diced
1 large (or 2 small) carrots, finely diced
1 red & 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
250g (or so) mushrooms, quartered
Big splodge tomato puree
1/2 head cauliflower, whizzed up to rice in the food processor
3/4 pint veg stock (I use the low salt bouillon from Marigold)
2 tsp paprika - I think the sweet smoked paprika would taste fantastic, but I don't have any in
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chilli flakes
Salt & Pepper
Fry light
If you have it, then cheese from your HEA - we used a little pecorino as it's sheeps cheese and Harry seems to be able to tolerate this.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
Halve the butternut squash, scoop out and discard the seeds* and then scoop out some of the flesh to make a nice sized hollow for the filling. Dice this and put it to one side for the filling
Season the 2 halves of squash, spray with fry light and put, skin-side down on a baking sheet - bake for 20 minutes or so

Your veg and chicken all want to be diced about the same size. Spray a large pan with fry light, and soften the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for about 10 minutes. If it starts to stick add a splash of water
Add the chicken and cook until it's lightly browned
Add the rest of the veggies - peppers, mushrooms and butternut squash
Pop in the tomato puree, spices and chicken stock
Add the cauliflower, give everything a good stir, turn the heat down and let it simmer uncovered.

Now I should say this made bucketloads - enough to freeze at least half for another day. Which is great as we enjoyed it. It'd also be lovely with a baked potato, and if you had a HEA (and aren't dairy free) then some feta or halloumi would be amazing. 

Fill the butternut squash halves with the chicken mixture, top with the cheese if you're using it. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty/ browned.

Serve with steamed greens - I had kale and brocolli.

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