Words: Dr Fiona Herron

Photos: Chris Herron


Getting your five a day doesn’t have to be hard or boring. And, as the days are getting shorter with winter just around the corner, any opportunity to boost your immune system should be grasped wholeheartedly!

These golden squash are amazing. A close relative of the zucchini and one of the “yellow veggies”, squash are crammed with vitamins and antioxidants. Special mention goes to Manganese (important for bone strength), Magnesium, folate and Vitamins C, A and Bs.

The garlic mushroom stuffing inside the squash adds another great immune boost from the especially from the fresh garlic cloves, mushrooms and tomatoes. Both the tomato and onion are also notably high in vitamin C, a micronutrient vital to the immune system – supporting cellular function including supporting barriers against pathogens and protecting against oxidative stress.

Make these stuffed squash the ‘main event’ with a good serve of steams greens or they work just as beautifully as a side. So, while these guys don’t fit neatly in your jersey pocket, they do help to fuel you and keep you strong for those hours in the saddle.

PS Don’t despair, if you can’t get hold of squash, give capsicum, eggplant or zucchini a go.

Ingredients:

Use organic where possible and always read ingredient labels

-  4 good sized golden squash (mine were approx 8cm diameter)

-  1 large garlic clove

-  1 small Spanish onion

-  8 button mushrooms

-  1 pat of butter (or alternative) (approx 9g)

-  1 large ripe tomato

- 1 tsp breadcrumbs (I’ve used gluten free)

- 1 tsp shaved parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (fan-forced)
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, boil whole squash for approx. 15 mins (should be tender when poked with a knife) remove from water and allow to cool
  3. While squash are boiling and cooling, mince the garlic and finely chop Spanish onion, mushrooms and tomato.
  4. In a small frypan, melt butter and fry onion and garlic until tender. Then add mushrooms and tomatoes and cook until mushy – remove from heat and allow to sit
  5. Once the squash have cooled, cut off tops (the lids) and scoop out the centres (this is mostly seeds and can be discarded)
  6. Spoon the garlic mushroom mix into the centres of the squash and top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (approx. a teaspoon of each) and place ‘lid’ back on
  7. Once each squash is filled, place on a baking paper on a tray
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 mins until cheese is golden
  9. Enjoy!

Nutrition per serve (approx. 100g):

Energy – 546 kJ

Protein – 5.5 g

Fat – 9 g

Carbohydrate – 5.4 g