Sunday, 10 August 2014

Chicken, Butternut Squash & Quinoa Stew

This is another dish I cooked when I was 5:2’ing and this one in particular was adapted from a US based website: I upped the spices content and also added some spinach into the mix.

This is seriously good for you and, luckily, also delicious. A great thing about it is that you can adjust the ratios depending on what you fancy or how much you’re watching your calories. The olives for instance can be cut down or out completely for instance: they pack a big punch flavour wise though so even including a few is going to make a big difference to my mind.

I’ve used a quinoa & bulghur wheat mix but feel free to just use normal white quinoa if that is easier.

Chicken, BNS & Quinoa Stew
serves 2-3

340g butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
450ml chicken stock
310g chicken breast
½ tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cayenne
200g tin chopped tomatoes
75g uncooked white quinoa, bulghur wheat & red quinoa mix
85g pitted and quartered kalamata olives
large handful baby spinach, chopped
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place the squash cubes in a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water, put a lid on top and microwave for 5-6 minutes or until the squash is just barely tender. Remove half the squash and set aside. Continue microwaving the other half until it’s very soft, about 3-4 additional minutes.

Drain, then mash with a fork. Set aside.

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil until hot. Add the chopped onions, oregano, cumin & coriander, cayenne and garlic. Saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is softened.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer then add the chicken and poach in the broth until cooked (about 10-15 minutes).

Remove the chicken to a plate and when it has cooled slightly shred with 2 forks. Keep to one side.

Add the tomatoes & quinoa to the stock in the pan and simmer for 10 minutes then add the cubed and mashed squash. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken & olives to the pot and season carefully.

Simmer for a further 5 minutes then stir in the spinach and cook for a minute or two until the spinach is wilted.

Stir in the parsley & serve in bowls.

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