Butternut squash noodles are a great autumnal alternative to wheat or rice noodles, and have the added bonus of being packed with beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin A contributes to healthy eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Pak choi and broccoli are cruciferous vegetables which have numerous benefits including helping to normalise oestrogen metabolism and upregulating liver detoxification enzymes. All mushrooms, but especially Asian mushrooms, support the immune system. And garlic and ginger are strongly anti-inflammatory. Coconut oil is a good oil to use for stir-frying as high heat does not damage it.
I like to make this on a Monday to use up leftover chicken from a Sunday roast. You could use roast beef or prawns instead of chicken if you prefer. You could also alter the vegetables to make use of what you have – for example, spinach can be used instead of pak choi, red or yellow peppers instead of carrot.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 medium butternut squash, or a pack of butternut squash noodles
400g roast chicken, shredded
4 spring onions, chopped
1 head of broccoli, chopped small
2 pak choi, sliced
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, cut into fine sticks
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
For the sauce
1 ½ tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos (I use Coconut Secret coconut aminos)
1 ½ tbsp. tahini paste
Juice of 1 large lemon
1. Prepare the sauce in advance by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl.
2. If using a whole butternut squash, spiralise it. Place the spiralised squash or pre-prepared squash noodles on a baking tray and toss with 1tbsp of the coconut oil. Roast in the oven at 180C, gas mark 4, for 10 minutes.
3. When you are ready to cook, heat the remaining coconut oil in a large pan or wok over a high heat.
4. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, broccoli, ginger and garlic and stir fry until the broccoli florets soften a little. If it starts to stick, you can add a little water to steam fry the food.
5. Add the rest of the vegetables and continue to stir fry for a few more minutes.
6. Reduce the heat to low. Add the sauce to the pan and stir through.
7. Remove the butternut squash noodles from the oven. Divide between 4 bowls and serve the stir-fried chicken and vegetables on top.