Tastes of Fall: Chicken, Quinoa, Kale & Goat Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash

Good morning! I’ve got a delicious- and easy- ¬†recipe for you today. Anyone else like to cook according to the season and, well, what’s in season? I love seeing all of the pumpkin, squash, and apple recipes floating around the blogisphere these days. Athena posted this delicious looking Autumn Kale Salad recipe last week, Alexis posted this Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta recipe that I’m dying to make and Lexi posted these fantastic Pumpkin Sticky Bun Muffins that I actually made last weekend!

I could literally go on and on, but today I want to share a fall recipe that I made the other week. I based it off of this recipe that I made last year, which was basically identical to the meal we had at The Local in Newton. Regardless, I realized that I hadn’t actually POSTED a recipe for this meal so I figured today was as good a time as any ūüôā

Stuffed acorn squash 1

All you need for this recipe is an acorn squash, kale (or spinach), chicken (or shrimp or steak), quinoa (or rice or a blend) and goat cheese (or feta or none)… as you can see, you can really do what you want to make this recipe your own!

Ingredients (use as a guide, but feel free to substitute as you see fit!)

  • 1 medium acorn squash, baked
  • 3-4 chicken thighs, baked
  • small bunch of kale, de-stemmed, rinsed & baked
  • Quinoa or rice or a blend (I had a medley on hand so I used that)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of goat cheese
  • dash of cinnamon (for acorn squash)
  • EVOO (for kale¬† & chicken)
  • Coconut oil
  • salt & pepper & garlic powder

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425*, cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Coat the flesh of the acorn squash with coconut oil and place face down in a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is soft. Once it’s soft, remove from the oven and sprinkle some cinnamon on the flesh. Set aside.
  2. While the squash is cooking, cook your quinoa or rice according to the directions on the back of the package.
  3. While the squash and quinoa are cooking, prepare your kale by washing it, de-stemming it and placing it in a baking dish. Coat with salt, pepper, garlic powder & plenty of EVOO. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it has wilted.
  4. Once you’ve gotten a handle of the foods in steps 1-3, prepare your chicken. I cut mine into cubes, coated with EVOO, salt, pepper and garlic powder and saut√©ed in a skillet until it was cooked through.
  5. At this point, everything should be cooked and it’s time to assemble everything. I combined the kale, quinoa and chicken in a small bowl and then stuffed the acorn squash halves with that mixture. Finally, I topped¬†each stuffed half¬†with a sprinkling of goat cheese and broiled for a few minutes until the cheese started to brown.

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What I loved about these was that even though it was a lot of separate things to cook, they could pretty much all be done simultaneously since the squash takes some time to bake and the quinoa and kale don’t need tending to once they’re cooking.

Stuffed acorn squash 2

All of the flavors in this dish really complimented each other and left me “mmm’ing” after each bite. The savory flavor from the kale mixed with the sweetness from the squash was on point!

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These also reheated really well and sine the squash was cooked enough that it was soft it was easy to peel away from the skin. You could eat the skin if you wanted lots of extra fiber, but I opted to take the skin off ūüėČ

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Like stuffed peppers, I call this a one stop dinner dish since you’ve got veggies, protein and healthy fats all in one place! This is a great fall recipe- let me know if you try it ūüôā

Questions for you: What’s your favorite fall recipe? Are you a pumpkin lover? What’s your favorite kind of squash? Do you prefer kale or spinach?

 

 

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

It’s no lie that I love stuffed peppers. They’re easy, they cover lots of ground in the veggie department and there’s really no right or wrong way to make them. The possibilities are endless! I made them a few weeks ago- no recipe… just threw stuff together- and realized that while I like the IDEA and the LOOKS of stuffed peppers, all I really care about is the stuffing… that’s where the good stuff is!

Deconstructed stuffed peppers 2

The stuffing is great because it’s so easy to eat- no cutting required, which I quickly realized is clutch when eating out of a Tupperware container at my desk during lunch ūüėČ Since there is always leftover stuffing when I make stuffed peppers, I figured out that topping some cooked kale or a spinach salad with the stuffed pepper “stuffing” was not only a great way to not let anything go to waste, but also something I enjoyed more, which is where today’s recipe comes from.

Deconstructed stuffed peppers 1
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Guest Post: A Healthy Twist On Entertaining

Hi guys! I have a great guest post for you today which combines two things I absolutely love: eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle AND entertaining. Sherri, over at Fun Fit Flavor seems to have the art of healthy entertaining, so I think you’re in for a real treat. I’m so happy she agreed to help keep B2B active while I’m in Italy because I just love her blog! It’s down to earth and she always shares the most delicious looking recipes… and, I can always relate so much to the things she posts about (going out with friends, entertaining, creating delicious foods, working out and drinking lots of bubbly ūüėČ )! Enjoy!

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Hi everyone! My name is Sherri and I write the blog, fun fit flavor. When Monique asked me to guest post while she basks in all of the gloriousness of Italy I, of course, said yes! Monique and I met through our friendship with New Balance and quickly realized that we have a lot in common; we both enjoy Prosecco, fitness, healthy food, and going out to eat. We both promote balance which, to me, is the core of wellness. Coinciding with that theme, today I’d like to share with you some tips for healthy entertaining. Entertaining is kind of my jam… I’m a Marketing Director by day and I’m part Italian so I love to feed people. For mother’s day, I set up shop at my mom’s house to create a relaxing, tasty/healthy, fun-filled day for my mom and sister. Here’s how it all went down!

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First and foremost, appetizers! Instead of the typical veggie sticks and dip – I like to make deviled eggs, guacamole, and charcuterie. Now, I know meats & cheeses might not sound like the healthiest option, but, adding in options like olives, cornichons, prosciutto, and nuts really makes a nice assortment full of healthy fats and protein.

Here is my best Deviled Egg Recipe (they are a huuuuge hit with family & friends).

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Shrimp and Veggie Curry Dish

I feel like I go through phases with my food dishes of choice. For a while, it was chicken and roasted veggies and kale. Then, it was meatloaf (so random, but so good). Then it was fish tacos (ok I always love these, but have to force myself to not request them every week!). Recently, though, it’s been curry dishes. When RM was doing the Whole30 (more on that later- he’s working on a recap guest post for you guys!), we were looking for meals that fit the guidelines and that were not boring. With so many restrictions, this wasn’t as easy as you might think, but this dish fit the bill and we were super happy with how it came out.

Before some of you start going “yuck. I don’t like curry”, I want to let you know that this recipe doesn’t taste like traditional curry (like this curry recipe did). I can’t really explain the difference, but it’s a milder taste and just doesn’t remind me of traditional curry dishes. Maybe it’s because of the curry paste we use, which is¬†Thai Kitchen curry paste- either red or green. I forget which one is my favorite because we interchange them all the time (I think we’ve made this dish 4 times in the past three months- I just made it again on Monday with chicken thighs and the green curry paste), but either one will work and be delicious- I promise. Another thing we change up is the “meat” of the dish. We’ve used chicken breasts, chicken thighs and shrimp, but I think my favorite is when we make it with shrimp, as I’m showing in this recipe.

shrimp & veggie curry dish 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. green or red curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk (make sure there’s no added sugar or anything- just coconut!)
  • 1/2-3/4 lb peeled and pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa, rice, millet, etc. (optional!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 2-3 large carrots, spiralized or chopped very thin (can use a shredder, too)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • 2-4 tbsp EVOO (for saut√©ing)

Directions

1. Chop/spiralize your veggies. Heat a large pan with plenty of EVOO and add in all the veggies once it’s hot. Cook until they’ve softened (about 10 minutes). Season¬†them with salt and¬†pepper as desired.¬†If you’re going to eat this with quinoa/rice/millet/etc., start cooking that now, too.

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2. Once the veggies have softened, remove from the heat and add in your coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add in the curry paste after about 5 minutes. Stir to combine and let them come to a boil before turning down the heat and letting it simmer for a few minutes.

3. Add in the veggies and shrimp and let everything simmer until the curry sauce thickens.

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We’ve served it over nothing (during the Whole30 challenge), over quinoa and over rice. I think my favorite is rice since it soaks up the extra sauce a bit.

shrimp & veggie curry dish 4

I love these “one pot” meals because cleanup is a breeze and it’s great to get a bunch of food groups in with just one¬†dish (stuffed peppers is another favorite to accomplish this).

shrimp & veggie curry dish 3

Another beauty with this dish is that it reheats so well! The flavor intensifies in the perfect amounts.

shrimp & veggie curry dish 2

YUM! Just looking at these photos makes me want to have a dish of this right now! This week I also paired it with some kale, which was another great way to soak up the extra sauce. This is a great dish for 2 that will leave you with plenty of leftovers or a small dinner party. I’d love to know if you try it!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite non-American style cuisine? Do you like curry? What’s your favorite protein to add to a dish?

 

Ground Turkey & Veggie Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Well hello there! It has literally been AGES since I’ve posted a recipe for you, huh? I think it’s partly because RM and I do a lot of cooking at his house (read: he does a lot of cooking and I do a lot of eating) and I’ve been pretty boring with my weekly meals that I cook for lunches and dinners to eat when I’m home. This past weekend, though, my sister and I walked to the grocery store before the snow started and then stayed hunkered down inside for the rest of the night, which left lots of time for cooking! I made a Mexican-style chicken, veggie & bean soup and an incredibly healthy and delicious Turkey & Veggie Spaghetti Squash casserole.

A long time ago, I posted this Spaghetti Squash Casserole recipe, which was a big hit, so I figured a slight variation on it would turn out as good. Luckily for us, it did! I think I actually liked it better, but the jury is still out on that one.

What I love about meals like this is that they don’t take much time to put together, they’re pretty easy to make and they don’t really require measuring. All of my measurements below are approximations, but at then end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how much you want to make. If you end up making too much veggie & meat “stuffing”, just save it for later in the week to put in a quesadilla or on a salad. Easy enough, right? I ended up having about 1/4 of the package of ground turkey leftover so I put it in a container and will plan to use it soon.

ground turkey & veggie spaghetti squash casserole

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