paleo recipe: “spaghetti” and chicken sausage

my husband and i love us some pasta. but as part of the 30-day challenge, i had to give it up. turns out, giving up grains is slightly easier for me since i also happen to love veggies. the other day, dreaming of tomato sauce, i remembered something i made back in the day (on weight watchers!). of course, WW didn’t approve the use of high fat sausage, so i probably subbed it with some sub-par veggie crumbles or something. not this time!

its not a replacement for pasta, but spaghetti squash makes a good base for a variety of things that you used to use grains for.this recipe looks intense, but only had about 20 minutes of hands on time.

the ingredients: 
spaghetti squash
EVOO
chicken sausage
tomato sauce (i used Cento brand, all natural, no sugar!)

the method: 
preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
using a (big! sharp!) knife, cut the squash in half. if the knife gets stuck, bang the whole thing on the counter a few times until it comes loose again.
coat the squash with EVOO and place on a shallow roasting pan, cut side down.
bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on size of squash.
when you have about 20 minutes of cook time left for the squash:
cut chicken sausage into bite size pieces (this is easier if you freeze the sausage for an hour prior, but its not necessary to do so).
cook the chicken sausage in a skillet until browned. or, if you’re me, until the outsides get slightly burned. i like it that way.
heat up your tomato sauce.
(if you’re cooking for a non-paleo partner, start water for pasta and chicken for chicken parm)
when the squash is done, shred from end to end with a fork to make “spaghetti”.
plate the squash, sausage and pour tomato sauce on top.
commence noms.

the notes: 
its probably likely that you bought what looks like a huge squash. fear not! you can cook half at a time and store the uncooked half in the fridge! also, while the Cento sauce was good in a pinch, it lacked the delicious garlic flavor i prefer in a sauce, so next time i’ll make my own.

paleo recipes: almond seared chicken and roasted butternut squash

last week i was craving some crispy, breaded chicken. in fact, i spent most of my afternoon lamenting how i couldn’t have it and oh my god i was going to miss it and wah wah (sad trumpet). until i realized something:

they make almond flour. i can eat almonds!so after work i happily headed off to Wegmans where i located the almond flour in the organic section, felt raped when i paid 10 dollars for a pound of it, and then set off for home intent on cooking an awesome meal.

i crusted the chicken, seared it up in a pan with oil and hoped for the best. i plated it and fed it to my husband who said “it’s not my favorite, but i’d eat it again” (pretty much a ringing endorsement for anything he finds “healthy”), so i guess its a keeper.

the ingredients: (note: i am not much of a measurer, so YMMV)
chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb)
1-2 eggs, beaten
almond flour
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), or other cooking fat

the method: 
rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry.
beat the eggs in a small bowl, and pour some almond flour onto a plate.
coat chicken with egg and press into almond flour to coat (the almond flour will likely cake in spots, don’t be too worried about consistent coverage).
heat up your skillet and pour in the EVOO to coat the bottom.
sear chicken on each side for 4 minutes, or until the coating begins to brown.
plate and serve.

the notes: 
next time i make this, i’ll do a few things differently: pound the chicken breasts a little flatter. prior to searing the chicken, i’d saute some mushrooms and onions to put on top of the finished product and deglaze the pan with an approved broth/stock. 

i served this with a side of roasted butternut squash (peel, cube, mix with EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic; oven for 30 mins at 350; stir partway through) and steamed broccoli. for the husband i made up some mashed potatoes (he’s not interested in paleo).

as always, this made enough for two dinners, and my lunch for the next day.