So, I accidentally bought a butternut squash and not a spaghetti squash like I intended for a dinner recipe later in the week. What do I do? Figure out a way to use it in a meal to dehydrate. Two requirements – it had to not take much work and include stuff I already had in the kitchen. I modified this recipe to fit my needs and get rid of some extra stuff I had lying in the freezer (frozen veggies).
Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew
- 1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (Steam in the microwave for a few minutes)
- 1 c chicken stock or broth
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
- 1 small onion, finely chopped,
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 3/4 c uncooked quinoa
- 3/4 c frozen spinach
- 1 c frozen bell peppers
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1-2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for spice)
- Lightly grease slow cooker with cooking spray.
- add in all the ingredients, except the frozen spinach. Stir.
- Cook for 3-4 hours on low or 7-8 hours on high. Stir every couple of hours, and make sure quinoa is in liquid to cook. 30 minutes before it is done, stir in spinach.
- Remove chicken and shred. Mix back in and enjoy a serving before you dehydrate!
- Use a potato masher to mash squash pieces to more of a mush.
- Spread stew on dehydrator trays (I used leather liners, but may not have been necessary)
- Dehydrate at 140-145 degrees until completely dry (time will vary based on how big your chunks are). Make sure to rotate trays occasionally for even drying. Mine took about 10 hours.
I re-hydrated a portion of this today on a snowy day hike, also tried out my new Kovea stove; both performing quite well. I didn’t measure the water I added, so it turned more into a soup vs stew, but still very flavorful. The chicken reconstituted good, though a few big chunks were a bit chewy (like jerky) – this didn’t bother be though. And I think this could be fixed by just making sure to shred up the chicken more before dehydrating. I was also a bit impatient and could have let it soaked longer before digging in (I think I only waited like 5 minutes after it boiled).