Monday, March 4, 2013

Chicken Again? Yipee!

So many times eating healthy can put people in a rut. With chicken being a main staple for a lot of people, it can also become a main drag for dinner. As a Weight Watcher member, I could have fallen into this rut early on, but thanks to a little inspiration, I created some poultry magic instead.

In the old days, pre-WW, I would have paired this with pasta to add a little more substance to my plate, but I’ve replaced the wheat spaghetti with spaghetti squash and I like it so much more. Paired with a side veggie (you can never have too many veggies on the plate) you have a complete, filling, satisfying and tasty meal.

Chicken with Peppers and Onions
4 servings

1lb of chicken breasts (cut into 4 pieces)
1 large onion (halved and sliced thin) (or more if you want)
2 bell peppers or 6 small peppers (sliced thin) (or more if you want)
garlic (minced) or garlic powder
cooking spray
1 spaghetti squash (cut in half lengthwise)
2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
1 tsp each paprika, dried oregano and dried basil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spray each half of the spaghetti squash with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place each half cut-side down on the pan and bake for one hour.
4. The last 15 minutes of the squash’s cook time, heat a cooking spray-coated skillet over medium heat.
5. Place seasoned chicken (salt, pepper, ½ of the garlic and ½ of the paprika) in the skillet.
6. Brown the chicken, but don’t let it cook through. Place browned chicken on a plate and add onions and peppers to the heated skillet. Season with salt, pepper and the rest of the garlic and paprika.
7.  Cook vegetables until browned and soft.
8.  Check the squash with a fork to see if the flesh is stringy and can be removed easily. If so, take it out of the oven and turn the oven to 350 degrees. If not, place it back in the oven and check every 10 minutes.
9. In a 9x13 Pyrex dish, add ½ cup of pasta sauce to the bottom, layer with ½ of the veggies, ¾ cup of sauce, chicken breasts, the other half of veggies and remaining sauce.
10.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
11.  To serve, place 1-1/2 cups of squash on plate and top with chicken and vegetable mixture.

See how simple it is?

We chose roasted asparagus for our side and it went beautifully with the chicken. 30 minutes into the squash roasting, add the asparagus spears (seasoned with salt and pepper on a cooking spray-coated pan) to the oven. After removing the squash and turning the oven to 350, move the asparagus to the bottom shelf under the chicken and continue roasting.


What is your favorite chicken breast recipe? 

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