Monday, October 27, 2014

Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chicken, Spinach and Mushrooms

'Tis the season of the squash!  They are healthy, yummy and everywhere right now.  While the pumpkin may currently be the top dog, my personal favorite is the Spaghetti Squash.  I'll eat a big bowl of veggie noodles any day, any way.  Since my Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Chicken and Red Peppers recipe has been so popular, I wanted to post another one of my recipes utilizing this awesome squash.  While I love them both, this one might be my favorite.  I use sun-dried tomatoes that have been jarred in olive oil.  They have a wonderful, earthy flavor and I use the actual oil from the jar to cook the chicken breast, which gives even more flavor to the dish.  Spinach and mushrooms add more yummy flavor and vitamins like D and C.  The Italian parsley brightens the whole dish up and the Parmesan packs the perfect salty finish.  This is an easy, healthy dish with rich, comforting flavors that is as gorgeous to look at as it is to eat.

Here is what you need:

1 Spaghetti Squash - roasted
2 Chicken Breasts - cubed and sautéed (chicken thighs would be great too or none for a vegetarian meal)
1-2 cups Mushrooms - sliced and
2 cups or half a bag of Spinach leaves (or 1 box frozen spinach, drained of water)
1/2 cup of julienned Sun-dried Tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 small Onion - chopped
3 cloves of Garlic - minced
1/3 cup of Italian Parsley - chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp of oil from the jar of Sun-dried Tomatoes
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Optional Garnish
Parmesan cheese

This is what you do:
Roast spaghetti squash for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Sauté the cubed chicken breast in the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes until fully cooked.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside.  Add 1 tbsp of regular olive oil to the pan and saute the mushrooms, spinach, onion and garlic.  When spaghetti squash is ready, fork out the noodles and add to the pan of veggies.  Add the chicken and mix all together and cook for a few minutes.  Add the parsley and Parmesan and serve!
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

First thing to do is prepare the squash and start roasting it, so preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Like I mentioned in my previous spaghetti squash recipe, slicing the raw squash can be pretty difficult, so be careful!  Slice it length-wise and scoop our the seeds and filling from the middle.  Then place it in a glass baking sheet that has about half an inch of water in it.  Season the squash with 1 tbsp of plain olive oil and about 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper each. The squash will roast for about 1 hour.

 Seeds are out, squash is seasoned and we are ready to roast.

Next, cube up the chicken breast.  I like mine bite sized, so about an inch big.  Season your chicken breast pieces with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper each to really layer the flavors.  

Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil from the Sun Dried Tomato jar to a pan and heat.  Add the chicken and cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.  You want the chickens internal temperature to reach 165 degrees. 

Once the chicken has been cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside.  In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of regular olive oil and the mushrooms and onions.  Cook for a few minutes and add the garlic.  Season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each.  Then add 1/2 cup of julienned sun-dried tomatoes.  Add the spinach last and cook all together for a couple minutes.  
I use spinach and mushrooms because I love them, but use whatever veggies you prefer.

Now, check the squash.  If the squash is not quite ready when the veggies are done, that is OK.  You can remove them from the heat and wait for the squash.  When the squash is done, remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.  Use a fork to pull the "noodles" out. 
I use tongs or an oven mitt to hold the squash because it can get really hot.

When ready, add the chicken, squash and parsley to the pan and heat altogether for a couple minutes.

Serve and top with Parmesan, (if you like).  

This is a fantastic, healthy dish that tastes like comfort food.  I hope you all like it as much as we do!  Spaghetti squash all day, everyday!