Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Butternut Squash and Spinach and Chicken and Rice and mmmmm...

All right, all right, I know that I may have kind of overdone it with the butternut squash this winter, since its come to you already in the form of pizza, and pasta, and strange wheatberry concoctions... but THIS is totally different, and totally delicious, and you should totally try it (plus, I can't be blamed for the squash this time, the meal was the inspiration of my co-chef).

Anyways, this is a rendition of one of those fresh prepared meals at Trader Joe's, which are usually really good. It was inspired by that, then helped along by this recipe, which is pretty similar. SO, here is our version...
The stuff:
2 chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1 red pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
some garlic
1 butternut squash
1c brown rice
fresh spinach leaves
some chicken broth
sage (I used dry, fresh would be good too), salt, pepper, olive oil
(red pepper flakes, optional)

What to do with it:
-Peel and cube one butternut squash. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 400 until all nice and soft and browned.
-once its done, put it in a food processor or blender with some additional spices, and about half a cup of broth (or, whatever amount you need to put in to get it to blend it)

-cook 1c brown rice in 2c water (add a little onion, and spices, if you want)

-Coat chicken with olive oil, pepper, salt, and sage- defrost. cut into chunks.
-Brown onion and a little garlic
-Toss in chicken. When the chicken is almost done, put in the red pepper slices
-Pour in some chicken broth, to make a little light sauce. Toss in the red pepper if you'd like it.

rinse and prep some baby spinach leaves. you might even chop them very coarsely

Putting it all together..
Make a little bed of rice, top with butternut squash, chicken/onion/pepper mixture, and top the whole thing off with the spinach.

This was nice because it was warm and the sage and squash and everything make it nice and comforting, but at the same time it wasn't too heavy, and the fresh spinach was really a nice addition... when you stir the whole thing up together it becomes yummy and unique. Try it!

(ps. I liked the chicken, but if you wanted to veggie-fy this, I'd recommend taking some white beans and cooking them with garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and sage and using them instead of the chicken- if you did that, it would actually be vegan).

(UPDATE: ok, so it seems that the good people at Trades Joe's may actually season the squash with Indian-style spices rather than sage. I think that might give it the little kick this needs and will probably try it next time)

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