It’s important at this time of year, to maintain a balance between Christmas cookies and healthy, wholesome meals. Because as long as we take full advantage of winter’s nutritious harvest at meal times, no one need turn down a scrumptious holiday cookie (or two, or three..)
We’ve had our fill of both at my house—perhaps leaning towards the indulgent side—but leafy greens and bright orange squash are still part of our everyday diet. I had this recipe for chicken stew with butternut and quinoa marked for a long time, and like most recipes I finally get around to making I think, why did I wait so long?!
This is definitely a keeper in my recipe book, as it’s everything I love in a wintertime meal. Hearty, healthy, balanced, wholesome, cozy, savory, sweet, filling, and lick-the-bowl GOOD!
Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash + Quinoa, adapted from Cookin’ Canuck
- 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded + chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 t dried oregano
- 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- couple handfuls kale, roughly chopped
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork and set aside.
In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add chicken breasts, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
Return the saucepan to the stovetop, lower heat to medium and add olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to turn brown, 8 – 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.
To the saucepan, add tomatoes, squash pieces and mashed squash, stirring to combine. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork. Stir the chicken, kale and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve!
Then to balance out all that healthy goodness, follow up with a plate of these… ;)