I used to hate squash. Even the name of this vegetable family doesn't sound very appetizing. But I'm learning to like it. Really.
Other than zucchini, I'm usually pretty "meh" about any squash--I just don't care for it much. Unless, of course, it is cooked and topped with butter, brown sugar, and/or marshmallows. Or mixed with lots of sugar, baked in a pie crust and served with a huge dollop of whipped cream. Mmmmm....
Anyway, spaghetti squash has a delicate, light flavor, and can be pretty good with just some butter and parmesan cheese. But again, even that isn't something that gets me terribly excited about eating squash.
This recipe for spaghetti squash with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes, though, does get me excited. The first time I made this, we liked it so much that I made it two more times within about 10 days.
I got the original recipe for this dish from Tasty Kitchen, a recipe site to which I refer sometimes. However, as usual, I made some modifications to the recipe, as outlined below. Also, for my friends who are still on the MRC diet, I will outline at the end of this post how this recipe could be modified to make it "on-plan."
Spaghetti Squash With Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 whole spaghetti squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 rounded tbsp minced garlic
1 cup unsalted chicken stock (I use Kitchen Basics brand)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped*
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup frozen peas
2 whole boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced*
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
* Original recipe calls for 1/3 cup dried tomatoes, but I think it's better with 1/2 cup. Chicken breasts may be grilled, sauteed, broiled, or baked. I like to bake mine with a little Beau Monde seasoning and cracked pepper on top. Alternatively, if you have some extra roasted or rotisserie chicken from a previous meal, this is a great way to use it up.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds with a spoon. Place squash halves facedown on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 45 minutes; remove from oven and let squash cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the meal.
In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, sundried tomatoes, and broccoli and saute 5 minutes (isn't it pretty??).
If you look carefully, you'll see that I used a chicken breast that I baked, but I also threw in the 1/2 breast and wings we had leftover from our rotisserie chicken from the night before.
Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash with the tines to remove strands.
Note: To modify this recipe to make it 100% on-plan for MRC, you can do the following:
1) Eliminate the peas
2) Eliminate sun-dried tomatoes (although I honestly think they don't make a difference to the plan)
3) Eliminate parmesan cheese
4) Substitute MRC chicken boullion supplement mixed in water for the chicken stock--however, I hated the boullion supplement and used unsalted chicken stock while on plan and I never had any problems losing.