Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash

Until recently I had never tried spaghetti squash. I'm not a huge fan of squash in general, and I always thought "Why would anyone want to eat a veggie instead of pasta?" I've been having great success losing my baby weight with Weight Watchers, however, and the point values were just too hard to ignore. One cup of spaghetti is 4 points. One cup of spaghetti squash is 0 points. As in, you can have as much as you want. No contest!

So I gave it a try. And the verdict? Pretty dang good! Definitely not the same as having a big serving of pasta, but I wasn't expecting that, so I could appreciate it for what it was. I actually tried some of it plain right after scraping it out and liked the subtle flavor of it. It would be awesome with some garlic and just a little bit of butter.

I served it with my marinara sauce, some chopped Romaine, and my mom's parmesan chicken recipe (which I have included below the squash recipe).

Why yes, I do suck at taking food photos. Why do you ask? And yes, I do have a horribly lit kitchen! How do you know these things about me? :) Despite the freaky picture, this food is scrumptious. Trust me.

Spaghetti Squash

Select a squash and try to cut it in half. Those suckers are hard! I had to use some muscle! Scoop out the yucky guts and seeds with a spoon. Spray a baking sheet with Pam and place the squash halves rind side up. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Use a fork to scrape it longways, pulling out the strands as you go. Serve warm.

Chicken Parmesan

2 c. dry bread crumbs
3/4 c. parmesan cheese (I just use the stuff in the can)
1/4 c. parsley
2 t. salt
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. pepper
chicken tenderloins

Combine all ingredients but chicken and butter in a bowl. Dip chicken pieces in butter*, then in crumb mixture. Place on greased baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, then remove the tin foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

*Since I'm going for low-fat lately, I didn't dip the chicken in butter. I just sprayed a little Pam on each side before dipping it in the crumb mixture. My husband actually liked this better than the original because it wasn't quite as heavy. I don't think I liked it better. Butter = bliss. :) But it was still good.