Catherine’s favourite winter warmer!
I always knew that Bermuda was subtropical and had a “winter” of sorts. And I am enjoying this cooler season …. but if we could pull the brakes on the arctic wind and rain that would be good! I’ve taken to putting our duvet in the dryer before bed and slowly defrosting through the night. It’s so amazingly cozy, I highly recommend it! (You’re welcome, Belco.)
I’ve also been rolling out all the winter warmers at dinner time. Chili with baked potatoes, chicken casserole, lamb tagine … so delicious!
You just have to be careful that you do not overdo the carbs on these chilly nights. It is easy to start heaping extra rice or potatoes onto your plate and once it becomes a habit, it’s hard to undo.
This week, I share one of my favourites. This chicken, butternut squash and apple casserole includes plenty of carbs from the squash, apple and juice, so try not to serve it with extra carbs, such as rice or potatoes.
I love choosing butternut squash as a carb because you get a big dose of antioxidants that you would not find in a “white” equivalent.
Carbs with deep colours, such as squash, carrots and berries for example, are such a great way to pack in extra nutrients.
The more we can replace white rice, potatoes, pasta and crackers with the more colourful versions, the better!
This is a really flexible recipe. Some people love the fruity sweetness and others prefer to dial it back.
If you are a more savoury person, replace the apple juice with white wine or more chicken stock.
Make sure you allow it the full time to cook so that the chicken becomes really tender and falls apart on your fork.
While it cooks, steam a big serving of green veg and throw it into a warm bowl with the casserole.
You won’t miss the rice or potatoes, I promise!
Chicken, butternut squash & apple casserole (serves 4)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
8 chicken thighs (skinless)
2 green apples, peeled and chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, chopped (or 1 box of prepped squash)
½ cup apple juice, or white wine/more stock
Organic chicken stock (enough to cover)
2 bay leaves
1 tbs low sodium tamari sauce
black and white pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325F
2. In a medium/large cast iron pan, soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat.
3. Add the chicken pieces turning occasionally so the chicken colours (but not too brown).
4. Add the butternut squash and apple, stir, turn down to low, partially cover and allow to sweat for a few mins.
5. Cover the chicken/veg with the juice or wine and top up with stock.
6. Add black pepper, bay leaves and tamari sauce. Bring to the boil (just for a second) then place in oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. Check occasionally. Should be simmering but not bubbling vigorously. This makes a casserole with a broth based sauce but offset the lid in the oven if it looks too liquid.
7. This is done when the chicken is extremely tender and the veggies are soft. If you would like to thicken the sauce, do so with a little cornflour.
8. While the chicken cooks, steam lots of green veg.
9. Serve together in large warm bowls and eat with a spoon!
• The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION, BNTA is a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK She works at Waterfront Wellness in Bermuda. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda or instagram @naturalbda