Butternut squash, tart apple, and chicken sausage come together quickly for a savory and filling dinner.
Food disappears quickly in our house. It’s just the two of us, but Jeffrey has an appetite that can make others nervous. I’ve adapted to his never-ending appetite over the years, but it’s also made me change how I cook. As a way to stretch our food budget, I try to find recipes with plenty of healthy “filler” foods.
Filler foods are often cheap things like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, and beans. They aren’t the star of the show, but they keep you feeling full without costing too much. Filler foods are often low in nutrients, and typically not paleo.
In the summertime, I reach for lots of fresh greens to act as filler foods since they are plentiful and cheap. In the late summer, it becomes zucchini and sometimes tomatoes from friend’s gardens that help stretch our food budget.
But the fall and early winter months are for squash. It’s on sale everywhere and in huge sizes. Squash is bright and full of vitamins and minerals and the perfect paleo filler food.
Here’s one of my favorite easy recipes for the fall. It’s easy to make in bigger batches, cooks up quickly, and packs well for leftover lunches.
Squash, Apple & Chicken Skillet
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 lb chicken sausage
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (approximately 1 lb)
- Sea Salt
- 1 Green apple, peeled and diced into small 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/3 bunch kale, stems removed, and chopped finely (approximately 1.5 cups)
- Fresh black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil into a large skillet that has been heating on medium heat. Nestle the chicken sausages into the warm skillet and cook uncovered for 7 minutes or until golden. Flip, and cook the other side for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the sausages from the skillet (it's ok if they aren't completely cooked through at this time) and set aside to allow them to cool. Add another tablespoon of olive to the pan, and then toss the cubes of squash into the pan. Season with half a teaspoon of salt, and cover.
- Check the squash every 5 minutes and give them a stir, adding more oil if they start to stick to the bottom. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until fork-tender, but not mushy.
- While the squash is cooking, chop the sausage into quarter-inch medallions. When the squash is almost done cooking, add the sausage medallions back into the pan, along with any juices they might have left off.
- Add the chopped apple and the kale to the skillet. Season again with a bit more salt. Grind some fresh pepper, and add the apple cider vinegar into the skillet. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the kale is soft and bright in colour.
- Remove from the heat, and enjoy!