So, Friday is my birthday. It’s also my mom’s birthday. Yep, I was born on her birthday (just barely – at 11:55 p.m.). Hours and hours of labor with no drugs. Happy birthday, Momma…you’re welcome!
Mom always said I was the best birthday present she ever received. She’s a sweet momma. And I always loved sharing my birthday with her (still do). It helped that she always let me have all the glory. She’d cook my favorite meal and bake whatever flavor cake I wanted. I’d always have all this planned out well in advance because I ALWAYS planned my birthday well in advance… like 6 months in advance. That’s how much I love my birthday. As an adult, I started celebrating my birthday ALL WEEK…because why not? I did this until I had kids and then I had to give up my birthday week because… kids. I still like to treat myself as much as possible all week though. If nothing else, I make my favorite meals. It’s my birthday week. “I don’t care if you want hamburgers; I get to pick, kid!” 🙂 So this week I’ll be making one of my favorite healthy dinners: Chicken Chow Mein Spaghetti Squash.
This recipe has a similar flavor profile as our most popular recipe to date, Egg Roll in a Bowl. It is a bit more time consuming, since you have to roast the spaghetti squash, but that can be done in advance. In fact, the chicken can be cooked in advance and the sauce mixed up too! Combining them all at the end takes almost no time at all. It’s worth the work because it makes a ton (Hooray for leftovers!) and the serving sizes are huge. You can eat a whole plate full for very few calories/SmartPoints. And it tastes amazing! You don’t even notice that it’s spaghetti squash. I don’t say that lightly because, normally, I believe there’s no substitute for real pasta. However, in this recipe, it totally works. And did I mention the serving sizes are huge? Size matters. ~Erin
1 large spaghetti squash (mine was almost 4 pounds raw and made about 5 cups of “spaghetti”)
Non-stick cooking spray – I prefer olive oil spray
1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat & cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 T. garlic powder
3 tsp. sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 c. to ½ c. low sodium soy sauce (I use ½ cup.)
1 tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ a large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced small
1 (16 oz.) bag tri-color coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage with carrots)
Optional garnishes: chopped green onions, sriracha sauce, or red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 460°F.
Line a baking pan with foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Cut the spaghetti squash, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side up in the pan and spray the squash with cooking spray. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. (If you have a smaller squash, check it earlier.) Remove the squash from the oven; using large tongs or oven mitts, carefully flip the squash over, cut side down, and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool completely. Scoop the strands & set aside. The spaghetti squashed can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, ginger, and minced/pressed garlic cloves; set aside.
Heat 1 tsp. of oil in a large, high-sided skillet, pot, or Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Add the chicken to the pan and allow to brown. Flip and brown the other side. Remove chicken from the skillet & set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 tsp. of oil, then celery and onion. Continue to cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the last 1 tsp. of oil and the entire bag of cole slaw mix to the pan. Stir until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add chicken, spaghetti squash, and sauce to the cabbage mixture. Stir until heated through.
Garnish with chopped green onions and, if desired, sriracha or red pepper flakes. Serve hot.
Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes about 7 servings at a mere 3 SmartPoints each. Each serving is 10 ounces (weight) or about 2 cups.