Laura Rennie

Laura’s chicken bacon alfredo over spaghetti squash

Laura R.Comment
Oh, pregnancy hormones. You are such a pleasure.
Not.

I was super proud of myself for taking New York by storm. No naps! Little sleep at night! Lots of walking! When I got home, though, it was like I had been hit by a truck. After having a few big “I don’t know why I’m crying" cries, I realized I was beyond exhausted. I started making a short to-do list for each day, thinking that if I only gave myself a few tasks to accomplish then I wouldn’t feel so guilty for falling asleep on the couch. I’m walking every day (not very far), but I know that eating better would go a long way in giving me more energy. I’m finally back to eating eggs for breakfast most mornings—yay! I’m hoping to start adding oatmeal in as well. Both foods sounded horrible to me during my first trimester! 

I had one of my college roomies in town this weekend and saw her visit as an opportunity to get back on the healthy cooking wagon. Amy is gluten-free and tries to take it easy on sweets. I’m on a mission to get people to start eating spaghetti squash, so of course I had to make it for her! I came across a recipe for Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo recently and knew I wanted to make something similar. I didn’t take a picture of mine because I stirred it together in one big pot and it wouldn’t have photographed well, but I’ll try to remember to take pics next time I make it—which will be soon! It was fantastic. We all loved it.

(But, if you’re pregnant and exhausted and have just spent 5 hours on your feet, maybe get take out. Otherwise you might drop every cooking utensil accidentally and almost forget certain ingredients and eventually say to your friend or spouse, “I might cry any minute now.”)

Notes:
-I used way less cheese (and a little less milk) than my inspiration recipe called for. We didn’t miss the extra cheese, but I’m sure it’s delicious both ways. I like the idea of adding red pepper flakes and plan to do that next time.
-The second time I made this dish I added sautéed bell pepper and mushrooms. We loved it! I used one half of a yellow and one half of a red, but you could use less. I used maybe 5 or 6 large button mushrooms.
-The leftovers are GREAT. The sauce will thicken a ton in the fridge, but just scoop out a spoonful and add it to the pan when you’re reheating leftovers.


from thecomfortofcooking.com

Laura’s chicken bacon alfredo over spaghetti squash
serves 4

1 large spaghetti squash
3-4 slices of bacon
1 lb chicken breasts or tenders, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup milk (I used low fat)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 2 extra Tbsp for topping
2 Tbsp flour (I used 2 Tbsp of Pamela’s Baking Mix to make it gluten free for Amy)
2 Tbsp butter
1 or 2 Tbsp cream cheese (optional—it adds creaminess but isn’t necessary if you don’t have it)
1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
3-4 leaves of fresh basil, chopped (optional—but worth it!)

1. Cut the squash in half length-wise using your incredible muscles or ask your husband to do it if you’re weak like me. Scrape out the seeds and goopy squash into the trash. Place half of a tablespoon of butter in each piece of squash and microwave each piece for 8-9 minutes. (I put mine in the microwave cut side up, but you could do this instead, and microwave both at the same time.) Use oven mitts when removing the squash from the microwave. Move on to the following steps while the squash is cooking:
2. Fry bacon. While bacon is frying, slice the chicken and dice the onion if you haven’t done so already.
3. Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
4. Remove bacon from pan and pour out most (but not all) of the bacon grease. Sauté onion in remaining bacon grease over medium heat until nicely browned, then remove from the pan.
5. Add oil to the pan you cooked the bacon and onion in and turn to medium heat. Add chicken pieces and stir often. Covering the pan will make the pieces cook faster. Keep an eye on it—it’s ready when you can easily use a spatula to chop the chicken into even smaller pieces. Remove pan from heat. (Don’t forget to microwave your second piece of squash if you haven’t already done so!)
6. In a small saucepan, heat remaining tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Add minced garlic. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of flour and cook for two minutes (continuing to whisk), then slowly add in milk, raising the heat to medium and continuing to stir. Add cream cheese if desired. Whisk until smooth, then remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
7. Using a fork (or two), shred the spaghetti squash. You’ll get a ton out of it if you just keep scraping the sides!
8. Place shredded squash in the pan along with the chicken. Add crumbled bacon and onions and stir to combine, then stir in alfredo sauce. You will probably need to add more salt and pepper since the squash isn’t seasoned. Sprinkle with fresh basil and additional 2 Tbsp of parmesan cheese and serve!

What do you think of the way I’m writing out my recipes? How can I make them more user-friendly? Would you like the ingredient list to be bulleted or numbered? Should I nix the numbering of steps? I’d love your thoughts/suggestions!