Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Squash

I have been on such a spaghetti squash kick lately! If you follow me on IG or snap, you’re probably tired of seeing it. No apologies though because it’s SO GOOD.

Eating healthy this time of year is really difficult, because there’s something about colder weather that makes comfort food sound way better/cozier than a salad or chicken and veggies (unless you live in FL like me – it was 80 degrees today lol). It’s also hard because everyone’s throwing Christmas parties and eating Thanksgiving leftovers, and sweets seem to be more abundant than normal. So, if you’re craving a big warm bowl of pasta to cozy up with after work, maybe try swapping it out for spaghetti squash!

Not only is spaghetti squash low-calorie, but it’s gluten-free so if you have any intolerances with pasta, it’s a great alternative! And there are SO many different ways to eat this delicious winter veggie, you could probably eat it every night of the week without getting tired of it. I’ve also learned that it’s great for meal prepping, because one spaghetti squash goes a long way – making it very time AND cost efficient!

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
2 chicken breasts
1 zucchini squash
1 roma tomato
5 tablespoons of basil pesto (separated)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
cheese to top it *optional*

Instructions:

First off, I’ll explain how to cook the squash. I think this is what kept me from trying this vegetable for so long, because I just assumed it was too difficult to cook. Turns out it’s extremely easy!

After heating your oven to 415, cut the squash in half, straight down the middle (long ways, stem to bottom).

Scoop out seeds with a spoon.

Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic (can use minced or powder). Place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes **this will definitely vary depending on the size of the squash; some are tiny, some are huge! use your judgment** You will know it is done when it shreds easily/tenderly when you scrape it with a fork!

While your squash is cooking, you can bake your chicken in a separate dish since the oven is already set to a high temp. **You can also cook it via a different method, this one is easiest/efficient**

Chop your zucchini and tomato into small chunks, and sautee over medium heat, until lightly browned and soft. Add in a little S+P, garlic and onion powder, to taste. After chicken is cooked, dice it up and add it to your pan with the zucchini and tomato. Turn heat down, and add in 2 tablespoons of pesto and stir until combined.

Once your squash is done and ready to shred, shred it completely with a fork (it’ll naturally make noodle-like pieces). Add in 2-3 tablespoons of pesto to the noodles, and stir until the “noodles” are well coated in pesto. You can either do this in a separate pan, or in the squash boats.

Top the “noodles” with the chicken zucchini mixture, either in the squash boats OR in a bowl! Totally up to you how you serve it, because it tastes delicious either way! It is also delicious when topped with a little parmesan or mozzarella cheese!

This is one of MANY different, yummy ways to prepare a spaghetti squash! I hope you love it as much as I do! Drop me a comment if you make it and let me know what you think and if you’d like to see more recipes with spaghetti squash! As always, thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!

XO beth

 

 

Advertisements

My Pet Peeve in the Health World

Hi! I know I kind of vented / voiced my opinions in my previous post, butttt… I’m about to do that again!

**Like I said before, I only go on rants if I actually feel they’re valid rants šŸ˜‰

Let’s talk about my BIGGEST pet peeve in the health world.

The health world has become a world everyone and their mom wants to be a part of – which is fabulous! I love that so many people are hopping on the healthy train (or “healthy” train, if you know what I mean)! Obesity is getting out of control in our country, so it makes my nutrition-loving heart HAPPY to see so many people/restaurants/companies trying to watch calories/ingredients and whatnot.

BUT… (here comes the but).

NOT EVERYONE IS A TRUE NUTRITION PROFESSIONAL! I repeat – not EVERYONE is a nutrition professional!!!! So WHY are you listening to anyone and everyone on the internet?!

Here’s the deal. Anyone can go on the internet, find some ish on nutrition, do a little research, and BAM they can become a self-proclaimed “nutritionist.” ANYONE can do this! They could have NO idea what the difference is between a carbohydrate and an amino acid, and still try and tell you what/how to eat!Ā To me, that is terrifying.

On the other hand, you have people (like yours truly) who spent four YEARS of intense studying, hard work, and hard @$$ chem tests to earn a degree in nutritionĀ and actually know exactly what they’re talking about!Ā Especially those people who go on to earn their RD (registered dietitian) after their degree. We didn’t go through all of those brutal chem labs and case studies for nothing, y’all.

So how do you know who to trust with your nutrition information?! Check their credentials FIRST thing. You should primarily listen to those who have their RD, this means they have done their internship and passed their RD test, and have extensive knowledge in food and nutrition, and are great if you’re seeking nutrition counseling! At the very least, find someone who has a degree in the area. And if they’re not an RD, check to see what other nutrition background they may have!

While I think it’s amazing how many bloggers out there are eating healthy and getting into great shape, many are not qualified in nutrition counseling. I get so frustrated when I see unqualified people trying to push THEIR diet plans (not recipes – but actual diet plans) on people who it may not work for or be good for! I am not bashing anyone for promoting their healthy lifestyle – some of these people DO have the qualifications! But before incorporating it into your own life, check their credentials and whether it would be a good HEALTHY fit for your body. Everyone’s body is different – and chances are your BMR is different, your activity level is different, your intolerances are different, than that of the random website you’re reading. Check your facts people! One of my all time favorite bloggers, Rachlmansfield.com, is a wonderful example of all this, because every time she promotes a healthy product or way of eating, she clearly states that she is a food blogger not a dietitian and that what she’s promoting is simply what’s good for her. And I love that!! Go Rachel! (She will probably never see this but I’m a huge fan- go check her out for amazing recipes).

I feel like I say this a lot but I really REALLY don’t mean to sound preachy – just feel like I’d be failing as a member of the dietetics world if I didn’t warn you guys, my dear followers, of this because I have seen it SO much lately!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

xo beth

Pictured is Pesto Chicken Zoodles – one of my fav dinners lately. Recipe below!

I made this for 1 since it’s just me right now, so you can adjust the recipe for however many people you’re prepping for.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 whole zucchini, spiralized
1/4 cup pesto

Bake chicken or cook in crockpot. I cooked mine in the crockpot with a little bit of pesto, pepper, and garlic powder (low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, depending how much chicken). After zucchini is spiralized, transfer to skillet and sautee with the remaining pesto, about 3 – 4 minutes. Serve chicken over the zucchini noodles, and add a bit of extra pesto if needed. Parmesan would be great as a topping! Enjoy!