5 healthy recipes to make for your New Year’s resolution
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Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Toasted Pine Nuts by Serena Poon, CN, CHC, CHN, Holistic Nutritionist and Chef, SerenaLoves.com
“The flexibility of these recipes leaves so much room for variation and creative energy — it gives everyone a chance to be a chef in their own kitchen,” says Serena Poon, holistic nutritionist and chef, of SerenaLoves.com. “For example, I used butternut squash, but you can also make the recipe with acorn squash, kabocha squash, etc., and changing up the choice of nuts adds a different earthiness to the final product.”
½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon fresh ground white pepper, to taste (optional)
15 oz. cooked chickpeas (if using canned or bottled, rinse and drain)
1 medium orange, zested
½ juice of half of the zested orange above
⅓ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
¼ cup pine nuts (raw or toasted, optional)
Pre-heat oven to 425F, place rack in the middle of the oven
Arrange the butternut squash halves, cut side up on an unlined sheet pan
Drizzle and spread 1 tsp of avocado oil on each of the 4 cut halves of butternut squash, lightly salt and pepper each half
Bake uncovered for 55-60minutes, or until fork-tender.
While the butternut squash is baking, use a fine-mesh sieve to thoroughly rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear.
Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan with the broth and bring to fast simmer.
Cover the saucepan with the quinoa with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
Removed the quinoa from heat (keeping covered with the lid) and allow to sit and steam for another 3 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
Using a large skillet, 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Add to the skillet the torn kale leaves and cook until just slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes and reduce heat to medium-low.
Add to the kale the thyme sprigs, salt and pepper, to taste. Heat until slightly fragrant. Remove thyme stems.
Add to the skillet the chickpeas, the cooked quinoa, squeeze juice from the half orange, and add the orange zest. Remove from heat.
Once butternut squash is fork-tender and slightly caramelized on the edges, remove from the oven and allow to cool (while still on the pan).
Using heat-protective gloves, scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the sides. Reserve this for later use.
Add the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts to the kale and quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Ready for filling!
Stuff the butternut squash halves with a heaping amount of the kale and quinoa mixture. Ready to serve! (Reserve any extra stuffing for later use for a buddha bowl)
Can use acorn squash instead of butternut squash
Can use cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds. In this case, add cranberries to the stuffing when adding the quinoa to the kale.
Can use other nuts instead of pine nuts: chopping toasted hazelnuts, chopped pecans, toasted almond slivers.
Can add vegan parmesan to the top of the stuffing and warm in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.
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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.