Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa Remix


This time of year always makes me want to snuggle up in blankets and eat a warm bowl of soup.  If you are like me and have diet restrictions for medical reasons, you can’t just pick up a box of soup at your local Trader Joe’s to cure your cravings.  You have to be a little more creative.  I have sought high and low for a tasty soup/stew recipe that is amazing and I am excited to announce that I believe I have found it.   Over a year ago a friend made me a recipe from Cookin' Canuck and I was in heaven.  I revisited this recipe this year and have adapted it into an IC (Interstitial Cystitis) friendly meal that the entire family will enjoy.  There have been quite a few alterations, but the extra spices give it a punch of flavor so that it is more savory and less bland (which is a big battle with IC recipes).  The bonus is this stew is extremely healthy.  You can stick to your IC diet, your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and have comfort food all at the same time!!

This dish can be served with wheat corn bread or tortilla chips, but really with the quinoa I have served it as a stand alone dish.

*Note Paprika's spicyness tends to differ from store to store.  I have found the Kroger Value Brand and the Wal-mart Great Value Brand are not spicy at all. 

*Some IC patients may not be able to tolerate cumin, so please check with them before you add it.  This makes a pretty large batch, so if they can tolerate a small amount of cumin they should be fine.

*I use Aldi Fit and Active Chicken Stock.  It is tasty, inexpensive and seems to be IC friendly.  Before buying any chicken stock check the box for added spices or pepper when you are shopping for chicken stock.  If it has these things (or onions) it is best to not purchase it if you will be serving someone with IC unless they have specifically told you they can have it.  Pacific Foods Free Range Organic and Kroger Organic also make what I find are IC friendly chicken stocks. 

Ingredients

3 cups cooked butternut squash

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp paprka

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp onion powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 boneless, skinless raw chicken breasts

1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes (non IC friendly version)

Directions:

*TIP*If you like chunky soup you can omit step seven and add chicken at step one and just cook stew for 3 hours in the crock pot.

1.  Cut squash in half and drizzle with olive oil.  Place face down on a deep cookie sheet (so  that it doesn’t overflow.

2.  Bake in oven on 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes (unless squash is soft).

3.  Spoon out seeds and discard.

4.  Spoon out squash and put in crock pot.  (Approx 3 Cups)

5.  Add garlic, chicken stock and all seasoning except parsley.

6.  Let cook on low for 2-3 hours.

7.  Use immersion blender and blend up soup in crock pot until smooth. 

*TIP*If you like chunky soup you can omit step seven and add chicken at step one and just cook stew for 3 hours in the crock pot.

8.  Add raw chicken and parsley (and tomatoes for non IC friendly version)

9.  Turn crock pot to high and cook for 3 hours.

10.  At the end of three hours add cooked quinoa and enjoy. 


11.  If there are people who like tomatoes put in a microwave proof container and heat up for three minutes in the microwave with the lid on.  Add two spoons full to bowl of stew.

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