Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes

The combination of chicken and sun-dried tomatoes is what caught my eye with this recipe, because I usually love those two things together - especially in a pasta. I was therefore intrigued by the use of spaghetti squash as the base for this instead of a pasta, making it very low-carb and therefore super diet friendly! It was a hit with the entire family, the flavors were great and you wouldn't feel like you were missing anything even with how healthy this is.

My changes to the original included adding some onion, using more sun-dried tomatoes and cooking the chicken in the skillet as opposed to using already prepared grilled chicken. I liked doing this too because then you get that extra flavor of cooked chicken in the pan before you start cooking everything else. And, even with the extra step of cooking the chicken this was still a quick, easy meal to put together and enjoyed by everyone!

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen


1 whole Spaghetti Squash
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1 3.5 oz pkg. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup frozen peas
2 whole chicken breasts
1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).

2. With a sharp knife, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape/remove seeds with a spoon. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet covered with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Let squash cool.

3. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash with the tines to remove strands. Set aside.

4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and let cool slightly before slicing into thin strips.

5. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet. Add garlic and onion; saute 3-4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, sun-dried tomatoes, and broccoli and saute 5 minutes. Add peas, sliced chicken, and remaining 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Shake about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into mixture (just enough to thicken the chicken broth). Reduce heat to medium-low, cover skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes.

6. Serve on top of the squash strands with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Braided Spaghetti Bread

I found this recipe on the Rhodes blog, and it was calling my name even though I tend to not pay much attention to recipes put out by brands (weird, I know). But, I'm a firm believer that you absolutely cannot enjoy spaghetti without garlic bread, so I suppose that is what hooked me in with this recipe. Plus it just looked pretty!

It was really easy to put together, baked up perfectly, and was a hit with my husband and daughter (because even though this looked so good, all the carb-loading isn't diet friendly right now, so I had one little bite and then enjoyed my own personal skinny chicken parm with garlic kale). My husband said he expected it to be a heavy meal, but the dough actually baked up nice and light and fluffy, making it not feel heavy at all and was easy for both of them to enjoy - and I can verify this fact from the one bite I had! I've done something similar, with this Spaghetti Bruschetta, but I think I prefer this method...with just putting the pasta on already prepared garlic bread you get a crisp, crunchy bread versus a soft and chewy one with the uncooked dough.

I'm sure we'll be having this one again, and probably in the near future not only because it was a hit but also because the bread dough came in a pack of 5 :)

You can find the original recipe here, along with step-by-step pics of putting it together.


1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough or 12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature
6 oz spaghetti, cooked
1 cup thick spaghetti sauce
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 –inch cubes (or 8 oz shredded)
1 egg white
Parmesan cheese
Parsley flakes (I used Italian seasoning and garlic powder)


1. Roll thawed bread dough into a 12x16 rectangle on parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.

2. Combine spaghetti and sauce. Remove plastic wrap from dough and place spaghetti on top of dough in a 4" strip down the center. Top with cheese.

3. Make cuts 1 ½-inches apart on long sides of dough to within ½-inch of filling. Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid. Transfer parchment paper to a large baking sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This Week's Menu

Polynesian Pork Chops

Tilapia Ceviche

Baked Spaghetti Bread

Potato, Chorizo and Green Chile Burritos

Turkey Burgers

Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Shrimp Tacos

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

Who doesn't love a good cheesy broccoli and rice casserole? Add some chicken and make it into a divan and I am one happy girl. There is just something about the combination that is oh-so-good, but not necessarily good for you. Boo. Therefore I was excited to find a recipe using quinoa instead of rice as well as some lighter ingredients, and I tweaked it a little to come up with my own version that I think is pretty great. Its a perfect side dish or can even be enjoyed on its own - and reheats great for leftovers too!

You can find the recipe I based this off of here. My main changes were to add some onion, celery and garlic, use mozzarella cheese, and give it a crunchy topping. I was going to take the easy route and use a can of cream of mushroom soup, but decided to try the homemade version listed with the recipe instead, and I think it worked great for this. I might not sub it in all the time, but for this particular recipe I'm glad I went the homemade route.


2 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped
4 tsp. unsalted butter, divided
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 recipe homemade "cream of anything soup" (recipe follows) or 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup mayo or light mayo
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked, and you cook it in a 1:2 ratio just like rice. Combine rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 15-20 minutes)
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Steam or boil broccoli until just fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, melt 2 tsp. butter. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in "cream of anything" soup.

4. In a large bowl, combine soup and veggie mixture, milk, mayo and mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in broccoli and cooked quinoa. Pour into prepared casserole.

5. Melt remaining 2 tsp. butter in a small bowl. Stir in Panko and Parmesan. Sprinkle over the top of casserole. Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes; remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.

"Cream of Anything" soup
1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended. Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper. Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken. Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime

I was intrigued by this recipe, mostly because of the ingredients and the low calories (214 for 2 small thighs!), and was crossing my fingers that it would turn out better than my previous attempt at a mustard-sauced chicken (you can see that recipe here) , and I'm happy to report that I can definitely recommend this one! The other one I linked to is all over Pinterest and had some great reviews, but I was extremely disappointed in it. It had waaayyy too much mustard for my taste - almost inedibly so - and even my mustard-loving husband wasn't too thrilled with the end result. I still cringe just thinking about it! This one, however, had just the right hint of mustard and the lime juice worked well to complement it.

I was still a little scared after tasting all the sauce ingredients mixed together, so I added a couple tablespoons of light sour cream to the mix and was so happy with how it turned out!

Recipe posted here with my changes, but you can see the original at Skinny Taste.


4 chicken thighs, skin removed (keep the bone in for better results)
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. light sour cream (my addition)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 lime, squeezed, and lime zest
3/4 tsp pepper
dried parsley (I used dried thyme)


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse the chicken and remove the skin and all fat. Pat dry; place in a large bowl and season generously with salt.

2. In a small bowl combine Dijon, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat.

3. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place chicken to fit in a single layer. Top the chicken with dried parsley. Bake until cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Finish the chicken under the broiler until it is golden brown. Serve chicken with the pan juices drizzled over the top.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cilantro Chicken

I make this yummy chicken every so often, and every time I do I have to go find it over on Marci's blog because until now I've never bothered to put it on my own. So this last time I decided to add it here so I could access it more easily, and also because I want to share because its pretty fantastic!

The chicken bakes up nice and moist, the chips add some texture and the cilantro-infused salsa gives it great flavor. I've found you can use pretty much any salsa and it works great because of the added cilantro. Oh and don't forget the cheese cause that makes everything better!

And, I can even enjoy this when I'm counting calories...just omit the chips and top with just a little bit of cheese...still fantastic!


2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. honey
4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
16 oz. thick-n-chunky salsa (I didn't use it all)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro (I used extra)
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese


1. Combine lime juice, honey, and oil. Dip chicken in lime juice mixture then coat with crushed chips. Place in ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

2. Combine salsa and cilantro in a small bowl. Pour over chicken then sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 more minutes or until the cheese melts.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This Week's Menu

Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime
Cajun Mac and Cheese
Beef and Portobello Stroganoff
Asian Tilapia with Quinoa Fried Rice
Golden Mushroom Pork Chops
Glazed Salmon
Pork Carnitas Tacos


Related Posts with Thumbnails