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Recipe corner: fiesta butternut squash and chicken soup; sweet and spicy pecans

Fiesta Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup


  •  1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and uncooked)
  • 1 small butternut squash (approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 can or 15.25 ounces kidney beans
  • 1 can or 15 ounces of corn
  • 1 can or 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Fiesta Seasoning (mix together the below ingredients and store left overs for other dishes in the future)
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

This dish is great prepared in the crock pot on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Start out by preparing your chicken and removing any fat. Peel, seed and dice your butternut squash into medium-small size pieces. Rinse and drain your canned kidney beans and corn. Lightly grease your crock pot with nonstick spray. Add your prepared chicken, rinsed quinoa, diced squash, kidney beans, corn, undrained tomatoes, garlic, and homemade fajita seasoning. Pour in the chicken broth and mix everything together thoroughly. Cover and let your crock pot do all the hard work!

When finished your quinoa will be cooked through and your squash will be very tender. At this point remove and shred your chicken. Then place the chicken back into the crockpot. Add some salt and pepper to taste then garnish with option toppings (green onions, sour cream, fresh parsley and/or cheddar cheese – just to name a few).

Sweet and Spicy Pecans


  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl combine all your ingredients. Spread pecans evenly on your baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring in 5 minute intervals. Remove baking sheet from the oven and place your pecans on a platter or plate. You will want to cook your pecans fully for approximately 30 minutes prior to serving. This recipe will yield 4 servings at ¼ cup per serving.

Recipes prepared by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at VCU Health. Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for more recipes and information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: November 4, 2019

Category: Diet and Nutrition

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