Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lean and Green: Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti Squash "Noodles"

This is - HANDS DOWN - one of my most favorite meals - EVER (PS - another one of Mr. Charming's creations!)!  If you like the flavors of chicken cacciatore, then you will love this spiced up version complimented by the sweet squash - truly a combination to DIE for!

How to roast a spaghetti squash:
Preheat oven to 350 degress
Cut squash in half, lengthwise.

Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds from the center of the squash (just like a pumpkin).  Then season your squash liberally with salt (we didn't use much) and cracked pepper.  You can drizzle with a little olive oil as well, but we didn't add any fat to it).

Lay cut-side down on a PAMmed cookie sheet and place in your preheated oven for about 45 min.

For the sauce: 
This is spicy, so for a toned down version, you could omit the red pepper and use regular tomato sauce (not Mexican style).  But it won't be nearly as yummy...it's worth the runny nose! ;o)
  
Slice your red onion, yellow bell pepper and tomato.

The chicken:
Chunk up your chicken breasts (dark meat would give a heavenly taste as well, but the breasts were awesome - and healthier!).

And throw them in a well-PAMmed pan (I feel the beginnings of a tongue twister here...).

Add your Italian seasoning, salt, cracked pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic. 
Well seasoned chicken...nicely undercooked.

Once the chicken is cooked on all sides (but still slightly undercooked in the center), add in your veggies.

Saute for 3-5 min

Just until your onions become translucent.

Add in your tomato sauce and simmer for 15 min on low, stirring occasionally.

See how the sauce begins to thicken?  Getting close!

The spaghetti squash is perfectly cooked - see how the striations are obvious?  A fork should go through it easily.

Take your fork and gently scrape the side of the squash from rind to center, creating "spaghetti noodles".  Your kids will love this!

Put 1 cup of the spaghetti squash in the center of your plate and scoop 1 1/2 cups chicken and sauce over the top.  

Grab a fork and sink your teeth into a bite of this.

Uh huh, I told you!  It's amazing, huh?!

Let me know when you try it and how you would change it up!  I love hearing from everyone who is trying our recipes - and SO fun to hear how you make it your own!  Three cheers for healthy meals!!!

Chicken Cacciatore and Spaghetti Squash - Serves 2
1 Spaghetti Squash, halved lengthwise
1 lb Chicken Breasts, trimmed of fat and chopped (should be about 14 oz when cooked)
1 can El Pato Tomato Sauce (or regular tomato sauce)
1/2 large, Yellow Bell Pepper (or red or orange), sliced
1 whole Tomato, sliced
1/4 medium Red Onion, sliced
1 Tbl fresh Garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tbl Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cracked Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Season squash with salt and pepper and lay face down on a PAMmed cookie sheet.  Bake in oven for 45 min, or until squash is fork tender and releases easily from the shell.

In the meantime, place chicken pieces, salt, cracked pepper, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning and garlic in a PAMmed pan over med-high heat.  Saute until chicken is cooked on the outside, but slightly underdone on the inside - 8-10 min.  Add bell pepper, tomato and red onion and saute for 3-5 min, until onions are translucent.  Add in your tomato sauce and simmer for 15 min on low, stirring occasionally.  Sauce will thicken quite a bit.  You can let this simmer for longer while you wait on your squash, but don't let your chicken get rubbery.

Pull squash out of the oven and using a fork, gently scrape the side of the squash from rind to center, creating "spaghetti noodles".  

To plate:
Place 1 cup of the spaghetti squash in the center of your plate and scoop 1 1/2 cups chicken and sauce over the top.  ENJOY!

PS - Save your leftover spaghetti squash for other "green" options!  We love it in omelets, with salads, sauteed veggies, etc.

Nutritional Information can be found HERE.

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3 comments:

Ann said...

I did spaghetti squash last week, but I think I might just have to do it again. This recipe looks fabulous! I LOVE El Pato tomato sauce!

Stephanie said...

YUMMO! This really was fabulous! We have been doing the spaghetti squash quite a bit and the kids can't get enough! Plus it's cheap - a whole squash feeds our entire household & no sour pasta stomachs! Win/win!! Let me know when you try this!

Anonymous said...

Came across this while surfing for spaghetti squash recipes. This looks truly delicious but (take it from a genuine Italiana) it's NOT chicken cacciatore, which is a stew of chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, olives and capers with Italian herbs. Your creative dish really deserves its own name, don't you think?