Quinoa-Stuffed Chayote (or Zucchini) Squash

Topics: Recipes
stuffed chayote

An excellent source of age-lowering calcium and filling fiber, one serving of stuffed squash will make you 1.4 days younger.
Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings  4
Serving Size:

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa*
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
2 large chayote squash (about 1½ pounds)
1½ teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil
1 cup tomatillo salsa or salsa verde, such as Frontera brand
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled farmer cheese
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (optional)

Directions:

Combine quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer gently 10 minutes. Stir in lima beans; continue to simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, cut chayote lengthwise in half. Cut out and discard pit. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out flesh leaving a 1/3-inch-thick shell. Chop flesh and set aside. Place hollowed chayote halves in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with vented plastic wrap and cook at high power 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, then chopped squash pulp; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add salsa; simmer 3 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir 1/2 cup of salsa mixture into quinoa mixture. Arrange cooked squash halves, cut side up on four serving plates; sprinkle with salt. Mound remaining salsa mixture into the squash halves. Spoon quinoa mixture onto and around squash; top with cheese and cilantro. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pumpkin or sunflower seeds over each serving, if desired.

Tips:

*Quinoa (pronounced keen wa) is a weed from the high Andes. For all practical purposes, however, it is treated as a grain. Try not to rinse the quinoa. Rinsing washes away the naturally occurring saponins, soap-like substances that ward off the plant’s would-be predators and that may have beneficial nutritional effects for humans.

Substitutions:

This is an easily adaptable recipe that works well with whatever you have in the kitchen. Vegetable broth may replace the chicken broth, and flat leaf parsley may replace the cilantro. Shelled soy beans (edamame) may replace the lima beans, and extra virgin olive oil may replace the garlic-infused olive oil. Two large zucchini or yellow squash (about 1¼ pounds) may be substituted for the chayote making it a summer delight. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Use a paring knife to cut out squash pulp, leaving a ¼-inch shell. Proceed as recipe directs, reducing microwave cooking time to 3 to 4 minutes or until squash is crisp and tender.

Nutrition Facts:

Fat Calories: 49.00 g
Total Fat:  9.20 g
Sat. Fat:  3.90 g
Cholesterol:  0.50 mg
Total Carbohydrate:  64.00 g
Fiber:  9.00 g
Sugars:  7.80 g
Protein:  13.00 g