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I`ve recently discovered the awesomeness that is spaghetti squash and want to share how I make one of my favorite dishes: spaghetti squash with organic chicken and spinach. Yum! :)
-a spaghetti squash
-coconut oil (or a cooking oil of your choosing)
-spices and seasonings
(see second picture)
1. Prepare The Spaghetti Squash
(Turn oven on to 370F)
Now, this may be the first step, but it is also the hardest. But fortunately you get to get it out of the way! Spaghetti squash is a gord and so it is very tough to cut into without a really, really good serrated knife. You will want to cut off both ends of the squash (picture 3) and then cut it in half vertically (picture 4). You should be left with two halves of the squash with the seeds and `guts` showing.
2. Scrape The Insides Out
Using a fork and spoon, scrape out all the `guts` from both sides of the squash. I always like to save the seeds and roast them. Dispose of the guts when you remove them. It`ll smell kind of like a pumpkin! (Picture 5)
3. Cook The Squash
Place the two halves of the spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet and place into the oven on the middle rack (see picture 6). Because squash is a `tough` vegetable, it does take some time for it to become soft. So now while you wait, it`s on to the chicken and spinach!
4. Cut Up Chicken and Saute
I used two big organic, free-range chicken breasts for this (I try to stay organic whenever possible!). I cut them into small pieces and tossed them into a pan where I had organic coconut oil heated up (pictures 7 and 8). I like coconut oil because it is better for you and you don`t need as much. It also smells like coconut (the smell cooks out, though, so your food doesn`t taste like it - don`t worry!)! You can use whatever cooking oil you prefer, though. Allow the chicken to slowly cook all the way through.
5. Add Seasoning
I love this part because you can really control your flavor here. I personally like to add basil, thyme, and garlic powder. It smells so good! You can add whatever spices and seasoning you like best :)
6. Scrape The Squash
Check on your squash. By now, it should be ready to be `scraped.` The meat of the squash, when scraped with a fork, will start to come off in spaghetti-like strands. If it is too difficult to scrape them off, the squash needs to cook more. You should be able to drag your fork across the inside with some pressure and have the strands come off (see picture 9).
7. Add Squash To The Pan With Chicken
Here is where things really start to come together. Add the squash spaghetti strands to the pan where the chicken is sauteing and mix around. The squash will continue to cook a bit more this way and become softer.
8. Add Spinach
Take your baby spinach, twist it together, and then pull it apart into pieces and add to the squash and chicken. The flavor really cooks in nicely this way. I`ve done this with kale, too, and it also worked nicely! (Picture 10)
9. Allow Ingredients To Cook Together
Now that the chicken, squash, seasoning, and spinach are all together, give them some time to saute together. This will make the flavor really come out! It will be done when the chicken looks 100% cooked and the squash is a bit translucent (picture 11).
Allow your wonderful new dish to cool a little before eating. The spaghetti squash should taste a tiny al dente (not completely soft like regular pasta) which adds some really great texture. It`s even delicious as leftovers! I love love love eating the leftovers from this meal! :)
I`d love to hear how you guys make spaghetti squash, or if you`ve ever tried it at all! It`s a pretty new food to me but I love it. Let me know what you think!
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*Images are my own!*