Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Spaghetti - Minus the Pasta???

I'm trying to incorporate new vegetables in my diet, as well as constantly trying new things. I looooove pasta, and have now switched to whole wheat, however there is still those annoying carbs. Many people on the Nest cooking board love spaghetti squash - after baking, the insides are pulled apart and become noodle-like. You can top it as you would with regular spaghetti - marinara, etc. But I was looking for an alternative to a red sauce, which I make often. The following recipe was just perfect - I only made a couple of changes, since I love lemon & garlic. The site Cara's Cravings also has some other spaghetti squash recipes I hope to try.

Chicken, Broccoli & Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash, roasted, seeds discarded, and stringy flesh removed (about 4 cups)
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
2 small stalks of broccoli
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 3-4 cloves)
1 tbsp olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, minced (I had only dried on hand)
4 oz dry white wine (I used 6 oz)
juice from 1/2 of a lemon (I used a whole meyer lemon)
1/4 cup half and half
grated lemon zest
freshly chopped basil
2 tbsp parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and add to hot pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Add broccoli, garlic, thyme and olive oil to pan, stirring to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 3-5 minutes, till broccoli softens a bit.

Add wine and lemon juice to pan and scrape up bits from the bottom; bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add half and half and continue simmering till slightly thickened. Add spaghetti squash, tossing to coat and heat through. Garnish each serving with grated cheese, lemon zest, and basil.

*I prefer to do this in the oven. Pierce the squash all over, and bake in a pan with a little water for about an hour at 400F. Cool and then split open, remove seeds, and pull out stringy flesh with two forks. This can be done ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a couple days.

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