I need to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth. I promise it won’t happen again…this week, anyway. I did have good intentions; I just had some terrible cooking mishaps in the past two weeks that I absolutely refuse to share here. It’s also May and May is recital month, so my free time is…somewhere. Not here. Probably in Hawaii sunbathing. Anyway, I digress. It’s a busy month, which means I’m spending a lot of time eating frozen pizzas and drinking entirely too much Starbucks, and not perfecting new recipes. But, once June hits, it’ll be smooth sailing and more delicious recipes than you can handle. Get excited.
Today’s post is dedicated to spaghetti squash. I first gave it a shot about two and a half years ago, and, I won’t lie, I was skeptical. In case you haven’t noticed, I love pasta more than most people love their children, so trying to trick my belly with a veggie substitute? No. Just no. Fortunately, I liked it better than I thought it would, and have perfected several spaghetti squash recipes. This was my first one, so I thought I’d start here.
Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Marinara
What I’m Listening to: season 10 of “Friends”
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
-One small spaghetti squash
-Spices of your choice (I used dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and red pepper flakes)
-1 lb. ground chicken
-1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 375. On a large cutting board, cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop all the seeds and gross stuff out with a spoon. Lay the halves next to each other on a baking sheet with the insides facing up. Sprinkle generously with your choice of dried spices. This will give the squash more flavor. Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 45-90 minutes. (The amount of time you need will depend on the size of your squash and your oven. I usually do 60-70 minutes for a small one and that seems to work just fine; however, my oven at my old apartment would cook my spaghetti squash in 50 minutes.) At that point, you can decide if the squash is your desired texture. You don’t want it to be mushy, or too crunchy.(I don’t mind a little crunch.)
When you have about 10 minutes of cook time left, put the ground chicken in a skillet. Sprinkle with a small amount of garlic and onion powder. Break up the meat with a spatula and cook through. Cooked ground chicken will take on a white color like regular chicken, but I always brown the edges a little bit. Feel free to add more spices to your liking. When the chicken is cooked, add the jar of marinara. Mix well, then cover the skillet for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is heated through.
When your spaghetti squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. When you are ready to serve it, hold half of the squash with an oven mitt and run a fork over the inside. It will fall out in spaghetti-like tendrils. Serve with the marinara and warm bread.