June 18, 2013 • 05:51:44 p.m.

Chef Debi: Healthy, seasonal squash

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Here is a healthy, seasonal side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Beans, lentils and peas are all legumes. Beans are good for your health because they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as the minerals iron and magnesium. Beans also are relatively low in calories, which makes them especially attractive if you are trying to reduce your calorie intake on this otherwise calorie-laden holiday. A half-cup of cooked kidney beans contains only about 110 calories but provides 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. They contain no cholesterol and make good substitutes for meat when combined with rice to create a complete protein.

Healthy Rice And Beans Stuffed Squash

1 cup instant brown rice

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 19-ounce can of black beans or dark red kidney beans, rinsed

1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 Delicata squash

1 Kabocha squash

1 cup salsa

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans, broth, vinegar, hot sauce and pepper and cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the hot rice and cilantro and mix well.

Cut squash in half and clean out the seeds. Fill with rice and bean filling.

Add some water to a baking dish, place squash inside and cover with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes 

Remove the foil and top the squash with the salsa and cheese and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.


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