Saturday, September 17, 2011

Butternut Squash Sauce Served Over Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Nicole recommended that I try using our bounty of butternut squash to make some sauce. At first I thoght this sounded strange, but then I went searching for recipes and I realized it was actually quite a brilliant idea! Rather than making a sauce for pasta I decided to make a sauce to serve over some roasted chicken.

Autumn Grilled Chicken

4 ounces raw chicken breast
2 shakes of cayenne pepper (on each)
2 shakes of nutmeg (on each)
2 shakes of pumpkin spice (on each)
Dash of salt
1 tsp olive oil

1. Spray the chicken with some olive oil so the breasts are nice and coated
2. Spread the spices evenly over the chicken
3. Grill until no longer pink in the middle (should reach 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast).

Butternut Squash Sauce

(~6 servings)

(Adapted from Simply Recipes)

1 large butternut squash (or 2 small)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup half and half
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 T scallions
1 T chopped parsley
2 t lemon juice
Pepper to taste
Water to thin the sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the guts and seeds and discard them. Bake for 40 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the squash. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the squash flesh from the skins and either puree in a large blender or put it in the pan in which you will be making the sauce and just mash with a large fork (this is what I did and it was less mess and very easy).

2. Cook the puree for about a minute to get hot. Add the half and half, a tablespoon at a time, slowly stirring it in to incorporate and to avoid lumps. Stir in the parmesan. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add water (or low sodium chicken stock) to thin to the consistency you want. Take off heat and add the parsley, scallions, and lemon juice. Cover the pan to keep warm.

4. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Sauce Nutrition Facts

(Serving size, 1/6th of batch)

This meal was a TEN! I can't wait to show you what I did with the leftover sauce (that's for next weekend's post!).

Now for this week's nutrition news updates.....

A Squirt of Insulin May Delay Diabetes
(You have to read this to believe it. I think these scientists are truly on to something here!)

Nearly One in Six In Poverty In the US

(Can you imagine having to pick between a meal or a place to sleep? This is just so sad. Everyone should do their part and give back if they can. I gave to a favorite fund yesterday and I feel blessed that I could share with those who need it most.)

A Kitchen Scale- A Tool Whose Time Has Come!

(Yep, after reading this article, a kitchen scale is going on my registry!)

Harvard's Healthy Eating Plate Vs. USDA's MyPlate
(I hate to say it, but I think the Harvard researchers created something that blows the USDA's plate design out of the water. This new plate includes oil, is specific about whole grains vs. refined grains, and makes it clear that certain proteins are better than others.)

QUESTIONS: What do you think of Harvard's plate design?
Going back tot he sauce, do you like your sauces chunky or smooth? I like mine chunnnnnky!


  1. great idea to make that into a sauce!

  2. I love Harvards Healthy Eating Plate. I think it has everything MyPlate was lacking and got rid of unnecessary things (like dairy) that were probably only on there because of special interests. I think Healthy Eating Plate outlines the guidelines the way they should be!

  3. I love butternut squash and never thought to make a sauce out of it. Looks delicious!

    I use a kitchen scale all the time and think its a great tool for portion control and baking!

    I happen to like dairy as a part of my daily food plan!

  4. This sounds perfect. Just added to my weekend prep list for next week :-)

  5. Interesting! I always have butternut squash as a side, never would have thought to make a sauce out of it! Glad it tasted good!

  6. Butternut squash sauce is a great idea! It's probably pretty similar to "smashed butternut squash."

    I like the Harvard Plate a lot better. I think it includes the information people need to make healthier choices. Unfortunately, The USDA's MyPlate is just too simple... I also like that the veggie section is clearly bigger than the fruit section. But by saying to choose plenty of fruits, I still wonder if people will overdo it on fruit. Also, I would like some more info on potatoes. Aren't sweet potatoes, for example, better than regular potatoes? I understand that French fries shouldn't count as a veggie, but what about a baked sweet potato?

    Have a great weekend!

  7. That is such a great idea and I bet it makes the chicken super moist! I love textures in my sauces so chunnnnnky is very good. I also really like the Harvard's plate design because it gives a bit more important info that I think people need.

  8. Harvard's eating plate makes a lot of sense, I agree it's the better one :)

    I also need to try butternut squash sauce, it looks delicious!

  9. I would never have thought to make a sauce out of butternut. What a great idea. I might give it a try with my favorite quinoa pasta. Thanks!

  10. Absolutely genius sauce idea! I'm definitely going to try this out. And, since (I think )you are a fellow pine nut lover, this would be fabulous with some pine nuts sprinkled on top :-). Very interesting research on inhaled insulin and Alzheimer's! Kitchen scale? Just got one about a month ago...can't believe I waited this long! Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-)

  11. oh gina this dinner looks fab. thank you for including the nutritional info as well. so glad you have weekends off now :)

  12. I'm a big fan of the Harvard plate - wish the USDA had stepped it up. And I am just loving all your butternut squash recipes - this one looks amazing and I can't wait to try it!

  13. man that looks delicious! so excited to have found your site.. great recipe ideas!

  14. OK so harvard's plate isn't all that different but the commentary is great. Why did the USDA assume we were all so stupid that what they did cut it? I hadn't seen that so thanks for posting. I love the name "autumn chicken" sounds so appealing will have to try it. I like texture too.

  15. I like Harvard's plate! I'm not sure if I like my sauces chunky or smooth I guess it depends on the sauce and my mood.

  16. I use a kitchen scale all the time, and I prefer British style recipes that give measurements by weight instead of volume.
    It's SO much more accurate.
    Definitely get one!

  17. This looks DELICIOUS! Butternut squash and grilled chicken are two of my favourite things; and conveniently I have some raw chicken tender breasts I need to cook tonight and all the other ingredients...except I have a spaghetti squash instead of butternut so perhaps I'll do something with that to make a variation :)