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Butternut Squash, Chicken, Dried Cherry & Kale Casserole

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice 1 1/3 cup brown rice, dry & 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 butternut squash diced (approx. 4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 # chicken diced
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or 1/3 cup pre-grated

Instructions
 

  • If your brown rice is already cooked, ignore this step. If you have a pressure cooker, add 1 1/3 cup brown rice + 1 1/4 cup chicken broth. Set to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes then quick release. Or cook according to directions on the stove top.
  • In the meantime, heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and butternut squash. Cook until squash is cooked through and tender.
  • Add kale, salt, pepper, sage, and thyme to squash mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until kale is wilted.
  • Remove veggie mixture from skillet - place in a large bowl. No need to wash skillet. Add 1 Tbsp oil, heat, and cook chicken. Add a little more salt and pepper to the chicken. Once cooked through, add to veggie mixture.
  • Add rice, cherries, and parmesan cheese to the chicken and veggies. Stir well. Pour into 9x13 inch pan. Top with a little more cheese.
  • Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

Notes

Other Thoughts:
  • Vegetarian: omit the chicken + use vegetable broth or water to cook the rice. It would still be delicious!!
  • Vegan: do the above + omit the Parmesan cheese
  • If you are reheating it, if it gets a little dry - add a couple Tbsp chicken broth to the container before rewarming.
  • If you can find pre-cut butternut squash, or even the steamer bags of diced squash - this would be a real time-saver. If you get the steamer bags, you will just want to saute quickly because it will already be cooked through.
How-to-Use:
Athletes: One huge serving has 60 grams of carbohydrates and 30 gm of protein. I dig it. If you're training hard, you may need a little more rice. Or a higher carbohydrate side or snack before bed.
Healthy Eating: I really like the balance of this meal. A HUGE serving has 10 gm fat, 60 gm carbs, and 30 gm of protein. Too much?! Cut back the serving size.
Kids: My daughter couldn't get enough of this. She thought the rice was 'pasta' but she also devoured everything else in it. Although, she was partial to the cherries. Hope you have some success with your kids too. My son on the other hand - he had mac n' cheese. Some day he'll join the rest of us.