So you have been asking for more recipes, and I finally came up with a good one that I’d totally forgotten about. I use the term “recipe” loosely here, because like most of my dinner concoctions, I see it as just a few things thrown together that happen to taste OK. However, I was thrilled to learn after serving this dish last night, that spaghetti squash has now become the small person’s “favorite dish (since we started eating boring food)”. Maybe a bit backhanded, but I’ll take it in any form that enters my kitchen!
Anyway. I used to be afraid of this innocuous vegetable not only because I was clueless about how to prepare it, but I didn’t even know what one looked like. Everyone talked about it, but I never got the details.
Well, it turns out this whole prep thing with the squash is actually easier than making pasta, and of course much cleaner too! Cut, scoop and bake – all in one pan. No watching a huge never-boiling pot and no sticky colander to clean up afterward. It also saves really well, so making a large batch helps even further. Genius in my book, which as you well know is defined as *EASY!
*Easy doesn’t always mean fast, so be sure to allow extra time for the squash baking. You can always microwave it if you’re in a rush.
- 1 spaghetti squash – I choose one about football size, which serves twice what my little family can eat, leaving leftovers for future meals. My daughter also eats it alone, with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- 1 jar Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce – a decent choice. I’ll probably
neversomeday learn to make my own. I don’t use the whole jar, obviously – serving size is 1/2 cup (I use 1/4 cup). You’ll need to adjust for your crew.
- 1lb package of boneless chicken breasts or chicken breast tenders
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the strings and seeds (this will remind you of a pumpkin). Place cut-sides up in an oven-safe pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until tender.
About 15 minutes before the squash is finished baking, sauté your chicken in a pan with 1-2 tbl olive oil. Cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pour the marinara sauce into a saucepan, add the chicken, and cook on medium low until heated through.
Remove the squash from the oven and let cool for approx. 5 minutes.
Use a fork to “shred” the squash into spaghetti-looking pieces. This will come super-easily, and it’s actually really fun to do, so let your small people in on this part of the process. Nature is amazing!
Plop the “spaghetti” on a plate and top with the chicken sauce. Done. I usually serve this dish with some sort of green veggie or salad alongside. Tasty, clean and of course, EASY!
What’s a fearsome veggie you’ve tackled lately?