Hey there, everyone! Were you getting worried I wasn’t going to show up in the New Year? ;) Well, whether you were concerned or not, never fear, it just took me a while to get back in the groove of things after an amazing holiday with family. I ended out my #yearoffun with one last trip of the year to Denver to be with my husband’s family. It was so much fun—our days were filled with hikes, a brewery tour, a whiskey tour (while interesting to learn the process of making a good batch of whiskey, I’ve decided whiskey just isn’t for me :)), and lots of good family time to bring in the New Year!
While “fun” isn’t my word of the year again this year (although I do want to keep having plenty of fun this year), I think I’m already off to a great start with keeping it up! This past weekend Philip and I drove to Iowa to spend the weekend with my parents and aunt and uncle. With this combination, we always know we’re in for a good time. :) Since my aunt and uncle are, sadly, moving away from the Midwest soon, we wanted to have one final “hurrah” together. What better way to do that than by opening up a few bottles of wine and cooking together?!
Gosh, did we have a fun time! We booked ourselves spots for an Italian cooking class with Alessandra, a lady who moved to Des Moines from Italy 10 years ago. Just listening to her talk was entertaining in itself. Her personality and humor were on point! During the class we made risotto and while I’ve seen it prepared before and had read about how to make it, I had never actually made it myself nor eaten it before. Yuuumm! Why I have I waited so long?! We made three kinds and all three were absolutely delicious, creamy, and full of flavor.
My family and I all took turns stirring, adding more broth, and stirring some more to create the risotto (it’s a labor of love!). Since I lead cooking classes for my job, it was so enjoyable to be on the opposite side of things where everything was prepped for us and we could just dump everything in and enjoy the process of actually cooking. Although, her effort and hard work of prep prior to the class were not overlooked.
We left the class with empty wine bottles and full stomachs. Such a fun way to spend a Saturday together! If you’re ever in the Des Moines area, I highly recommend trying out one of the many classes Alessandra offers (Find her at Cooking with Alessandra). It’s a reasonable price for a hands-on cooking class and would be perfect for a date night or for a day with the girls.
While I loved the risotto (!!), it’s definitely not an everyday kind of meal, due to the time it takes to prepare and the general richness of the dish. Let’s just say it may not be something that is friendly with your freshly made New Year’s resolution, if you’re the type who makes those. But this recipe I have for you today is perfect for your new resolutions and goals: Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.
This dish is flavorful, low in calories thanks to the spaghetti squash, and is quick to prepare. But the best part? Five ingredients, you guys! You’d have no idea it has such a short ingredient list with how much flavor this recipe has! Who knows, this may become that “go-to” recipe when you don’t know what to prepare for dinner and your family is already hungry. Makes these items a staple in your pantry and you’re set to go.
If you’re new to spaghetti squash, it’s pretty much a miracle squash that turns out similar to spaghetti noodles…only difference is it’s a vegetable. :) With only about 50 calories per cup and packed with fiber, this “spaghetti” fills you up and with sauce on top, you won’t be missing your traditional noodles. This recipe you can cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave, making it go 10x faster than if you cooked it in the oven. Either way is totally acceptable here! Today, we’re just looking for fast and easy ways to keep your healthy eating habits going as long as possible.
Whether you’re relatively new to this “health thing” or have been enjoying spaghetti squash for years now, this is a recipe you’ll definitely want to try! Enjoy!
Five Ingredient Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Serves 4 – 6 (depending on size of spaghetti squash)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 (2 1/2- to 3-lb) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce, divided
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F. Cut each chicken breast into three large pieces. Place chicken pieces in a medium saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and gently simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and has cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish and add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400 °F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)
- Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the large bowl with the chicken. Place the shells on a broiler-safe pan. Stir 1 cup enchilada sauce, zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the squash and chicken. Divide the mixture between the shells; top with the remaining 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes. To serve, cut each shell in half (or scoop out the desired amount from each shell to serve).
Adapted from: Eating Well