By: Dr. Marlo Swanepoel
For those who love good food but not standing in front of the pots for hours especially while our temperatures are dropping and the tiles are cold. Here is a 50min HEALTHY recipe that requires 5-10 min in front of the pots. The rest of the time, enjoy your cup of tea or coffee while you are cuddled up in your blanket on your favourite couch or spend much needed time with your family.
INGREDIENTSFor two people
1x Medium sized Butternut
¼ Green bell pepper
¼ Red bell pepper
¼ Yellow bell pepper
4-6 button mushrooms
2-4 Baby marrows (Zucchini)
2-3 teaspoons onion marmalade
Optional: 1 chicken breast fillet
Start by rinsing all vegetables. Cut the Butternut in half lengthwise so that you end up with two equal parts to add the filling. Remove the seeds and strings. Steam the butternut for approximately 50min or until cooked. It is preferred not to boil any of the vegetables as you lose most of your nutrients this way. If however you do not have a steamer the butternut may be boiled or if you have a metal strainer you can put it in a pot where you can add some water to the bottom and create your own steamer this way.
Cut the peppers and marrows into small cubes. Slice the mushroom into medium sized slices. Add all of the vegetables into a pan with the onion marmalade and fry for 5-10 minutes (without oil). DO NOT OVER COOK the veg. They still need to be crunchy and colourful. Season to liking with Himalayan salt and pepper.
For the meat lovers: Cut the chicken fillet into small pieces and fry (without oil) before adding the veg.
Once the butternut is cooked place it in a plate and add the filling. Sit back and enjoy the full flavours dancing on your taste buds.
BONUS: For added health benefits add the butternut seeds instead of discarding them. This adds additional protein and mono- and polyunsaturated fats making this a healthy snack for your heart. ½ a cup of the seeds supply almost a third of the RDA zinc for men and almost half of that for women, thus naturally boosting your immune system. Remove the stringy bits and toast them in the oven in a small amount of salty water until the water has evaporated and the seeds are crisp alternatively fry them with the rest of the other veggies.
Why this is a healthy meal.
The full spectrum of nutrients makes this a great dish to enjoy at least once a week. Unfortunately it may not be eaten to often if you are suffering from diabetes or are on a carbohydrate restriction diet. Even though the butternut is filled with many good nutrients it is rich in carbohydrates and fiber. This means that you may not combine this with any other starchy foods like potatoes, rice or couscous.
The combination of veggies used in this meal makes it rich in anti-oxidants, phytochemicals carotenes and other vitamins. The proteins are supplied by the mushrooms, peas and seeds. Instead of listing each one individually I am including a very nice and accurate chart below, (sourced from: vitosworld.com) which explain what is found not only in this dish but in all other similar fruits and veggies so that you can make your own nutrient packed menu.
Enjoy and keep the healthy food going.
Dr. Marike de Klerk