One of my favorite features of Fall is the abundance of winter squash available. Butternut, Kabocha, Spaghetti Squash…these are all major staples in my household year round, but during this time of year the flavors are truly at their peak (not to mention the savings are about half-price). In my experience, these squash can last for months in a cool, dark area. When prices are low, I buy in bulk and keep mine in the garage. Being that there aren’t too many other perks I feel from the weather starting to turn cold, I am thrilled that I have at least this one aspect of the season to look forward to.
When cooking for a gluten-free and grain-free household, as specified by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), finding starchy filler options can definitely be challenging. Typically, 4-5 days a week, my menus include a winter squash, whether in a soup, as a side, or part of the main dish.
Last night, I made for my family Baked Chicken with Spaghetti Squash from A Taste of Wellness by Rochel Weiss (a special thank you to my aunt Linda for getting me my copy so many months ago). What attracted me to this particular recipe was the minimal ingredients required (no need for a grocery store run), and ease of preparation. The whole recipe, besides for cooking time, took a total of 20 minutes. The result was delicious, filling but still light, and for added bonus, a breeze to clean up:)
Baked Chicken with Spaghetti Squash
(recipe taken from A Taste of Wellness by Rochel Weiss)
3 Tablespoon mayonnaise (for SCD, a quick and easy homemade version can be found at comfybelly.com)
Salt and paprika to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium spaghetti squash
3 tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small dish, mix mayonnaise with salt and paprika. Spread evenly on both sides of chicken breasts. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until juices run clear. Do not overcook or chicken will be dry.
Meanwhile, cut spaghetti squash in half; scrape out and discard seeds with a large spoon. Place squash cut-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at the same time as the chicken for 35-45 minutes, until tender. (Do not overbake, keep strands crispy).
With a fork, gently separate cooked spaghetti squash into spaghetti-like strands.
Shortly before serving, heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add squash strands and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut baked chicken into 1 inch cubes and add to skillet, mix well. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice until piping hot. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings