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NOURISH

Recipe: Turkey, squash and wild rice hotdish

Leftover turkey, butternut squash and wild rice in this recipe produces a satisfying hotdish that's loaded with health benefits. You can even prepare it ahead of time, refrigerate it, then cook it the next day.

Why is it so healthy? First, wild rice, which is actually not a grain, but a grass seed, is naturally low-fat, gluten-free and protein-rich. Wild rice also contains lysine (an amino acid), fiber, minerals and B vitamins. Then, add butternut squash, which is loaded with Vitamin A and beta carotene, both important for good vision and a healthy immune system.

As an extra treat save your squash seeds. Winter squash seeds are a good source of protein that are a great heart-healthy snack loaded with zinc. Clean the seeds, removing all the goo and stringy bits, lay on a sheet pan with a bit of salt water, then oven roast them until they are crispy and all the water has evaporated.

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 medium butternut squash, uncooked, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes*
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (about 1 teaspoon ground)
1/2 teaspoon fresh sage (1/4 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves (1/2 teaspoon ground)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup raisins
4 cups cooked diced turkey breast
3 cups cooked wild rice
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

*Note: If using cooked or roasted squash, add with turkey, rice and cheese.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add squash, onion and black pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes or until onions appear clear. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not overcook. Squash should still have a slight firmness to it.)
  3. Stir in the thyme, sage, rosemary, nutmeg, raisins, turkey, rice and 1/4 cup cheese.
  4. Pour into prepared dish.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 5 more minutes.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.

Makes 8 servings

Nutrition information

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