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November 3, 2016
Fill Your Fall With Squash

Around this time of year, I always look to incorporate more squash and warm foods into my cooking. So when I stumbled across this buffalo chicken stuffed spaghetti squash recipe,  I had to try it out!

Spaghetti squash is relatively inexpensive and readily available.  It can easily be prepared and substituted in a variety of pasta dishes forfar fewer carbohydrate calories than traditional pasta (42 per cup vs. 270 calories). It also boasts more nutritional value with fiber, folic acid, beta carotene and other vitamins and minerals content.

The hardest part is cutting this tough beast lengthwise, you need a very sharp knife. Alternatively, you can bake in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour, or pop it in the microwave for about 15-20 minutes. Once cooked you can scrape out the insides to resemble spaghetti.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep time: 15 minutes, cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

• Rotisserie chicken already cooked , pull chicken off the bone and remove the skin
• 1 carrot diced into ¼ inch pieces
• 2 celery stalks to ¼ inch pieces
• ½ onion, chopped
• 1 spaghetti squash,  seeds removed, cooked and cooled
• 1 cup LF shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
• 8 oz can of tomato sauce
• 2-3 Tbsp of hot sauce  (I like hot and prefer Franks red hot wings)
• 1 Tbsp EVOO
• 1 Tbsp of brown sugar
• Ranch dressing, if desirable when serving

Directions:

1-hour prior, cook spaghetti squash, remove seeds and let cool. Remove the squash with a fork and put aside. Keep the outer shells.

In a large saute pan, add EVOO, onion, celery and carrots.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add chicken, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and hot sauce. Stir together until the chicken falls apart and resembles a pulled chicken with vegetables and is well reheated.  Add in spaghetti squash and mix all ingredients.

Add the mixture back into the squash shells to stuff them and top with ½ cup cheddar cheese.  In a baking pan, place in the oven under broiler for 2-3 minutes. Remove once cheese is melted and bubbly.

This recipe makes about 4 servings and each stuffed squash is about 500 kcals, 50 mg protein, 30 gm carbs and 4 gm fat. Dressing will add additional fat calories, so choose the creamy dressing wisely. Yogurt-based ranches are a great way to limit saturated fat calories!

Kirsten McEvoy RDN, LDN, is the clinical nutrition manager at Harrington HealthCare System.