Variations on a Theme: Chicken and Butternut Squash Curry Recipe for the 5:2 Diet.
One of the challenges of cooking for one (and eating out rather a lot too) is that I tend to end up with leftovers. Not just leftover meals, but ingredients too – and making 5:2 diet recipes for two days a week exacerbates this because I’m simply not eating so much. I am reasonably happy to eat the same thing twice in a week, but buying something like a butternut squash means that I have enough for eight portions of soup or 4 main dishes from one squash. Making the butternut squash and coconut soup earlier in the week meant I also had left over coconut milk and I also had one lonely chicken breast lurking in the fridge.
Yes, of course there’s the freezer. Mine is stacked full with dishes I’ve already cooked where there was too much too eat fresh but if I’m honest I prefer things freshly made. And I quite like cooking. So, I end up trying to be inventive. A twitter conversation with Snigdha and Zoe, both of whom know a lot more about curry than me, encouraged me to have a go at this dish. Snigdha tweeted me her mum’s recipe and Zoe sent me a link to this Mauritian Pumpkin Curry. Neither had coconut milk in them or chicken. Both of which I had to use up.
- 300 g Butternut Squash Cut into 1cm cubes
- 175 g Chicken Breast Cut into 1cm cubes
- 200 ml Low Fat Coconut Milk
- 100 ml Pasatta
- 1 Small Onion Chopped
- 1 clove Garlic Finely Chopped
- 1 Red Chili Deseeded and Finely Chopped
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 pinch Tumeric
- 1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
- 1/2 Lime
- 1 handful Green Beans
- 1 handful Flat leafed parsley stems removed and finely chopped
- 10 g Fresh Ginger grated
Warm the spices through in a heavy iron skillet till they start to release their smell
Add the oil, chopped onion, ginger, garlic and chilli and cook gently till the onion is translucent
Add the chicken and seal on all sides
Add the butternut squash and beans and mix well before adding in the passata and coconut milk
Simmer gently for 30 minutes or so until the squash is cooked through and the sauce has reduced a little.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with dry fried cauliflower rice
What I ended up doing was a kind of mixture of ideas- with a really rather successful result.
Now, I know this recipe has chicken in it, but to be honest, the star of the show was definitely the butternut squash. I think it would work very well as a vegetarian dish with potatoes or a few more beans as a substitute for the chicken. I served it with dry fried cauliflower rice to keep the calorie count low on a 5:2 diet fast day. But, if you are not dieting then it would be lovely with some Indian breads to mop up the coconut sauce.