On my impromptu visit home this past weekend (RIP tropical vacation to celebrate my best friend’s wedding…) I was inspired by our family cook-out to reinvent a summer favorite. Spending time with my family was such a pleasant surprise after days in the airport, especially being welcomed with healthy, home-cooked meals! I’m also a fan of dumb, corny jokes so no apologies for the recipe title 😎
The “fake noodles” for this recipe are spaghetti squash! They give a “noodley” feel to your dish and are good at soaking in flavors and dressings. It’s also a low-carb noodle option, which helps you live out my motto; #eatbetternotless. Two cups only has about 14g of carbohydrates (whereas regular pasta would be close to 100g of carbs for 2 cups!). As you know, I’m a big fan of carbs, especially when you’re active! However during meals that are further away from workouts, if you’re less active, or you have bigger weight-loss goals, finding substitutes that will still fill you up but provide fewer calories is the way to go!
My Summer Impasta Salad is perfect for the hot summer evenings here in Virginia. I was North for 3 days and already forgot how very warm it gets down here! This dish is light-yet-filling, crisp & cool. Meal-prep it tonight and you wont have to turn on your hot oven for a couple nights this week and instead get to feel healthy & fresh in the summer-spirit while eating so many bright colors!
My recipe will made about 5 servings but it will depend on the size of your spaghetti squash & chicken breasts. One of my calculated servings is about 200 filling calories of colorful vegetables as well as 22g of lean protein, 10g of nutritious carbohydrates, and 10g of healthy fats from olive oil.
3 Chicken Breasts (450g)
1 Spaghetti Squash (about 6 cups)
Raw vegetables of choice, such as:
Broccoli (I lightly steamed mine)
3T olive oil
1T white vinegar
1T apple cider vinegar
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp dried parsley
1tsp dried basil
1/2tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
sprinkle of salt
*You may need to add an addition tablespoon of oil & vinegars if your batch comes out bigger!
- SPAGHETTI SQUASH: there are a couple different ways they can be baked but my favorite way is, of course, the easiest. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, wash off your squash, bake the entire squash whole for 30-60 minutes (depending on size), rolling it over about half way. You’ll know it’s done when you squeeze it and it’s tender! (Slight chance it may burst in your oven, cook at your own risk 😉 ). Once cooked, easily cut the squash in half (but be careful because it’s steamy in there) and let the halves cool. Remove all the seeds then scrape the squash into a large bowl, cut up the “noodles” into smaller pieces, and put in fridge.
- CHICKEN: lightly drizzle the breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with dried parsley, basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Gently rub the spices around the breasts for thorough coverage and flavor! Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees until no longer pink inside.
3. While things are baking, wash & chop your vegetables and add to the spaghetti squash bowl (if it’s had time to cool down already).
4. When the chicken is finished and cooled, shred into smaller pieces and add to bowl.
5. DRESSING: in a bowl or jar, add all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour and mix contents into the bowl to soak into all your meat and veggies!
ENJOY! Share your meal-prep and food pics on instagram and tag @foodcertitudenutrition OR on Facebook at tag @Food Certitude Nutrition ! (& give both pages a follow if you haven’t already!)