Cooking

THM Stuffed Acorn Squash (E)

This was a pretty easy and very tasty recipe that was perfect for a November dinner. I tweaked the recipe I found here to be THM friendly by skipping the higher fat items, keeping this meal high in healthy carbs, but low in fat. All nutrition info will be listed at the bottom. 🙂

THM Stuffed Acorn Squash (E)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (I used red for color and flavor preference)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread, toasted and cubed
  • Ripped up handful of kale
  • 1 Tbsp+ extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth
  • Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, poultry seasoning, and ginger to taste

I apologize again for never ever measuring spices! I am a shake and eye ball kind of girl but I used in the neighborhood of 2 tsp of salt, 1.5 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of garlic powder, rosemary, and poultry seasoning. I just added a shake or two of ginger.

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the acorn squash in half (without losing a limb) and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Spray or brush the cut sides of the squash LIGHTLY with oil. I sprayed mine very minimally.
  4. Put the chicken breast and squash in separate pans and pop them into the oven (don’t prep the chicken,  just cook it).
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  6. As soon as you put the squash & chicken in the oven, start cooking the quinoa.
  7. Chop and prepare any veggies.
  8. Start sauteeing the onions in 1 Tbsp of oil. When they start to carmelize, add the fresh garlic and the mushrooms. Season, season, season.
  9. Add the cubed bread, liquid aminos, broth, and handful of kale – heat through.
  10. When the quinoa is finished, add that and set the stuffing aside.
  11. Remove the chicken and squash from the oven when fully cooked.
  12. Cube the chicken and add it to the stuffing mixture.
  13. Stuff the acorn squash (really pile it on!) and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Drool. Eat. Enjoy every bite.

Nutrition info:

Serves Four

Calories – 366.

Fat – 7.9 grams (that includes the chicken, which should not be counted if you are a THM). Saturated fat – 1.4 grams. Polyunsaturated fat – 1.3 grams. Monounsaturated fat – 3.5 grams.

Carbohydrates – 45.6 grams. Fiber – 3.5 grams. Sugar – 3.7 grams.

Protein – 32 grams.

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Cooking · Food

Braised Leg Quarters with Brussels Sprouts

I whipped this up last night in a frenzy of “oh crap, I took meat out to thaw but forgot to put it in the crock pot.” I am sure I am not alone in that. I had good intentions, but a busy morning, and it was nearly dinner time before I realized I never started dinner. It was a happy accident, however, because this dinner was really yummy.

I am not technically sure if I am allowed to call it braised, but I am going with it. Just humor me. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 packages Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (or more, go crazy!)
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, oregano to taste*

 

Preheat your oven to 375. Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat it up. Season the leg quarters well, and then fry them in the oil to nicely brown the skin. This is a bit of work, but the end result is really, really yummy. You don’t want pale, unseasoned skin…trust me.

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While you have those frying, add the Brussels sprouts, garlic, onion, chicken broth, and some more seasonings to a dutch oven or other covered baking dish. I used my Pampered Chef Deep Baker.

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Arrange your browned leg quarters on top, cover, and bake for one hour. I set my timer for 40 minutes and started a batch of red quinoa during the last 20 minutes of cook time. The flavor was pretty awesome on this and the chicken was tender and delish. I will definitely be making it again, because getting my kids to rave about Brussels sprouts was a major win. Also, it’s pretty easy. Ten minutes of effort and then sitting around waiting for it to finish.

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YUM!

Cooking

Layered Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken (THM E)

I love layered dinners in my crockpot.  They are easy, versatile, and satisfy my pickier eaters who prefer their food not to be mixed together like a stew.  The variations are endless.  The best meats for this are generally fattier – chicken thighs, cheap steaks/cuts of beef, etc.  I happened to use chicken breast for this one because I am on a specific eating plan.  For any other Trim Healthy Mamas (THM) out there, this meal is an E.  It is also gluten-free.

If you’ve had issues with cooking chicken breast in your crock pot in the past, here are a few tips:

  1. Include plenty of liquid.  I always add a marinade AND chicken broth.
  2. Cook on the lowest setting your crock pot has available.
  3. Cook for only 5-6 hours…any longer and you run the risk of really overcooking it.

Meet my cast of savory characters:

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  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or more, if you prefer)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (not pictured, I forgot it in the fridge)
  • 2/3 cup fat-free balsamic dressing (Maple Grove Farm, gluten-free and contains no corn syrup!)
  • 4-5 pieces (ea) celery AND carrots
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes or yams (I used white sweet potatoes today.  If you can only find larger ones, cut them down)
  • 3-4 stalks of broccoli

Slice your onion and layer half of it in the bottom of your slow cooker.  I saved the other half to make soup tomorrow.  🙂  Coarsely chop the three cloves of garlic and add them in.  I cut my chicken breasts in half because they were huge.  I added 5 pieces and reserved three for tomorrow’s soup.  Layer in the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour in your broth, then add the balsamic dressing.

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Clean and trim your celery and peel your carrots.  Layer these on top of the chicken to make a rack for your sweet potatoes.  These will also go into my soup tomorrow, but they are yummy to eat with dinner as well.  🙂

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Clean and stab your potatoes (HA!) and layer them on your DIY veggie rack.  Turn your crock pot onto the LOWEST heat setting and cook for approximately six hours.  My crock pot has the 4 (high), 6 (high), 8 (low), and 10 (low) hour options.  I chose 10 hours LOW for this.

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I didn’t forget the broccoli!  While the meal is simmering away, cut the broccoli into florets and leave them.  You now have two choices:

  1. Add them around & on-top of the potatoes 90 minutes before you plan to eat –  they will steam in the crock pot.
  2. Steam them on the stove/in the microwave for 10 minutes before you plan to eat.

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Voila!

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I dressed my sweet potato with 1 tsp of organic coconut oil, cinnamon, and Truvia.  I always add a couple of spoons of liquid to my chicken before eating, but you could also add an additional splash of the balsamic dressing.  This was tender and definitely not dry.  Enjoy!