While thyroid disease cannot be prevented or alleviated by diet alone, making thyroid supporting food choices can make a noticeable difference. We abuse our thyroid with refined carbs/processed foods, extreme dieting, and excessive stress when we could be nurturing it with food sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals instead. These nutrients supply our thyroid with the energy it needs to function optimally and also protect our overall health.
In my own experience with thyroid disorder, I feel so much better when I am eating for my thyroid. There is a difference in my overall energy, the quality of my sleep, and how I feel from the moment I wake up. I created this recipe out of the need for a heart-warming dish to incorporate those now in season winter squash – but it also happens to be packed with thyroid supportive ingredients!
To support our thyroid, we need good amount of B vitamins (found in kale and wild rice), we need Vitamin A and C – both of which are essential to thyroid gland function and can help a sluggish thyroid. Magnesium (rice) is an important mineral as is tyrosine (squash) and beta carotene (squash).
Cooking with coconut oil is also very beneficial for thyroid function, as it contains medium chain triglycerides that are directly converted to energy. Because this increases energy and can boost metabolism, coconut oil is also very supportive of our metabolizing thyroid gland.
Winter Squash Stuffed with Kale and Wild Rice Risotto
3 small acorn or butternut squash
1 bunch kale, cleaned with stems discarded, chopped into thin strips
1 cup cooked wild rice (1/2 cup uncooked)*
6 cups organic vegetable stock
2 T organic, unrefined coconut oil (I prefer high heat coconut oil)
1 onion, diced
⅔ cup brown rice
½ cup white cooking wine
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with coconut oil. Place the squash on the pain bake 30-40 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to cut through, but still firmly standing.
Remove squash from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the kale and risotto (squash needs to cool about 20 minutes).
Cook the wild rice, according to directions and and set aside while you make the brown rice risotto.
Put the stock into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat, with a ladle nearby. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy nonstick saucepan or skillet. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until it is just tender, 3 to 5 minute.
Add the brown rice and and stir until the grains separate and begin to crackle. Add the wine and stir until it has been absorbed. Add the stock, about a half a cup at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. Stir often. Continue to add stock and stir until the rice is almost tender, about 30 minutes. The rice should still be a little chewy. Add another ladleful of stock and stir in the kale, wild rice and herbs. Stir together until the stock is just about absorbed, about 5 minutes, and add another ladleful of stock. Remove from the heat. Add pepper, taste and adjust seasonings, allow to sit as you clean out the squash.
Cut away the the top third of each squash (you will be putting the top “cap” back on once the squash is filled). Scrape out the seeds and membranes and discard. Repeat for each remaining squash. Turn the oven heat down to 350 degrees.
Season the surface of the acorn squash with salt and pepper. Fill each squash with the risotto. Place the tops back on the squash and bake 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender all the way through.