ROAST: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes and toss with some of the oil and half of the salt. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the squash out in a single layer. Roast the squash until it is tender and beginning to brown and caramelize at the edges, about 15 – 20 minutes. Reserve the cooked squash for later.
COOK: Add the remaining oil to a skillet over low-medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the ground chicken, breaking it into a few large pieces with your hands before dropping it into the pan. Don’t break up the chicken in the pan any further or it will overcook and become very dry. Sprinkle the remaining salt, garlic powder, sage and rosemary over the chicken and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the chicken, covered, until it is cooked through and there is no pink inside, about 5 – 6 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through. Do not overcook the chicken – it should release juices into the pan and still be tender when cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the diced onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
ASSEMBLE: Crumble the cooked chicken into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 – 5 times, until the chicken is broken up into little “grains”. Do not overprocess, or you will end up with a sticky paste! Finely slice the chard and spinach. Toss together the “grains”, roasted squash, chard and spinach back in the pan with the onion and all the pan juices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the salad, to taste, and toss together to combine. The salad can be eaten straightaway, but also refrigerates nicely so you could make it ahead of time and serve it as a cold “grain” salad, too.
Time-saving tip: You can often find pre-cubed butternut squash at the grocery store.
Variation: When it’s warmer, I like to swap the butternut squash for roasted asparagus, beets or summer squash and lighter greens, but the possibilities are almost endless!
Keywords: paleo, aip, gaps, wahls, whole30, warm chicken “grain” salad with butternut squash and greens