Food, Nutrition and Cooking

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Birds of a feather nest together

Baked chicken breasts in a Spaghetti Squash Nest

This recipe is deliciously fragrant.

1 large spaghetti squash

3-4 cloves minced garlic

3-4 T olive oil or more as needed

1/3-1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup raw slivered almonds

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, medium thick

Prepare the spaghetti squash: Microwave whole squash for about 5 minutes until it is soft enough to easily cut through. Then cut squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds (save for toasting if you’d like) and microwave about 5 minutes more until squash is thoroughly cooked. Let squash cool enough to handle. Using a fork or spoon, remove all the spaghetti from the shell of the squash and set aside in a bowl.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat, add garlic, cook for a few minutes, then add the squash. Let the squash cook about  ~7  minutes, then add about 1/2 the cheese, cook ~ 7 minutes more. Add more oil as needed. Stir the squash around, add the remaining cheese, and let the squash continue to cook until the color deepens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with foil or use a 9″ x 11″ baking dish.

Spread the squash to cover the bottom of the baking dish to form the “nest” and place the chicken breasts on top of the nest.

Bake about 30 minutes, then sprinkle on the almonds and bake another 5 more minutes or until the almonds have toasted.

Serves 6


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Whigged out Chicken Cacciatore

Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike will vote for this one!

Chicken Cacciatore is a quintessential winter dish – even good this winter year, when it’s so warm (at least on the east coast). The flavor is very earthy.

For the dish:

10 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced

3 T olive oil

1 medium chicken cut into pieces, skin removed

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 c dry white wine

1-2 cloves (depending on clove size and taste) garlic, minced

1 T tomato paste (my favorite is getting tomato paste in the tube, easy to measure and easy to save the remainder)

1 large can whole peeled tomatoes include any liquid in the can

1/2 t allspice

1/2 t thyme

freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste

2 bay leaves

For the Garnish:

grated rind of 1 lemon

1/2 clove of garlic, minced

3 T fresh parsley, minced

In a large stockpot (perfect if you have a Le Creuset) heat the oil on medium-high. Cook the chicken on all sides till lightly browned. Add the onion and let it cook a minute or so, then add in the wine. Once the wine boils up, lower the heat, add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, the mushrooms and the seasonings (remember you can always add more salt and pepper at the end, but you can’t remove them if you’ve added too much).

Cover the pot and cook slowly  on medium-low for about 4o minutes. REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Scatter the mixed garnish on top before serving.

This dish gets better with age, it also freezes well. I like to serve it with ziti but it’s also great with rice or potato. cacciatore


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You calling me Chicken?

Kitchen Sink Chicken Salad

This fresh approach to chicken salad adds fiber by pumping up the fruit and veggie intake for your day. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken and incorporate small amounts of greens you may have (parsley, cilantro, sprouts).

1 small roasted chicken, (skin and wings removed), cut into 1-2″ chunks

1 stalk celery

1/2 small onion, cut into 4 pieces

1 handful pea shoots or other greens

1 small apple, in small chunks (leave skin on)

1/2-3/4 cup walnut pieces

2-3 T mayonnaise

1tsp-1 T curry powder (to taste)

In food processor chop onion, celery, pea shoots (or other mild greens) until finely chopped. 

Add chicken, apple, walnuts, mayo, curry powder and process, using pulse button, until desired consistency is reached. 

Serves 4-6