Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Oven "Fried" Chicken

That’s a lengthy blog post title. Whew.

I was a busy mama yesterday whipping up my favorite meal to date.

I adapted this recipe to suit my family’s taste and incorporate some protein/extra veggies.

 I threw the squash in the oven at 350 for about 90 minutes in a baking dish filled with 1/2 inch of water. The steam build up helps roast the middle more quickly. You could always microwave them for a few minutes to cut down on baking time but that novel little concept didn’t cross my mind so while I tired of waiting for my squash to finish baking I whipped up a batch of apple chips to hold me over. The recipe I used was awful and we don’t have a mandolin so I’m not even posting it. Just buy the sugar and oil coated ones from the store and save yourself the effort. Unless you have a dehydrator and are awesome, then bring me some.

I sauteed half a white onion with 2 T butter and 1 T garlic. The picture is not getting jiggy with it for me today so I have no image of melty butter garlic yumminess. Just imagine it. There ya go. I’m fairly certain I also threw in 2 t salt, 1 t pepper, 1/2 t each of paprika, onion powder, parsley, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder. Once the onion was softened, after cooking about two minutes, I threw in 3 T flour and allowed it to be absorbed by the butter. Once it was a thick mass I added in approx 2 cups of whole milk (probably should have used 2%, ya know, since we have the bacon and all,) 4 oz cream cheese, and 4 oz shredded parmesan cheese. You’ll likely have to play with the milk measurements some in order to create a consistency that you like. The more milk, the thinner and the less you use, the creamier the sauce. The same is also true with the milk choice you select. Skim milk will create a healthier and thinner sauce as opposed to the whole milk option we utilized.

After “forking” out the center of the squash, leaving the shell intact (or partially stabbed by aforementioned cooking utensil) add in 6 chopped slices of bacon (you are SO welcome for this unexpected addition,) 3ish cups of spinach, and the imaginary butter/milk/ cheese mixture. Once well combined use a slotted spoon to strain out  and re stuff the shells. I found an awesome Parmesan and red pepper flake bottle near the popcorn section at Kroger and sprinkled that on top. Feel free to let it all soak together for a few hours if you don’t have time to immediately bake them. I put mine in the fridge, stuffed, for a few hours and then reheated them at 350 for 30ish minutes and then broiled the tops until golden.
I took a cue from a gal at my church and mixed up a packet of Ranch dressing/dip mix and some Italian seasoned bread crumbs for the coating for my chicken. After slicing them into thin pieces and dredging them in a mix of egg and milk  I coated them with the spiced breadcrumbs. They baked a little longer than I’d have liked and wasn’t as crunchy as I prefer but nothing compares to legit fried chicken so I have to stop being a brat and comparing it to things soaked in fat. Alison, though I don’t know you, thanks for the awesome idea.

 Culbreth Family Version:
3 spaghetti squash-roasted
2 T butter
1T garlic
2 T flour
approx 2 c milk
1/2 white onion
4 oz shredded parm. cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 t salt
 1 t pepper
 1/2 t each of paprika, onion powder, parsley, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder.
3 c spinach(or other greens)
Extra Parmesan for topping

Roast squash until tender at 350. This will take approx 60-90 min depending on how many are cooking.
Melt butter and add spices, onion and garlic.Once the onion was softened, after cooking about two minutes throw in in flour and allow it to be absorbed by the butter. Once thickened add in approx 2 cups of whole milk, 4 oz cream cheese, and 4 oz shredded Parmesan cheese. Add more milk to desired consistency.

Pour milk mixture over “forked” out squash and vegetables. and re stuff squash. Bake until heated through and broil until tops are golden brown.

Oven “fried” chicken
3 lb chicken breast, sliced in half horizontally to make thin
1 1/2 c Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 package Ranch dip/dressing
1/2 milk
1 egg
Combine milk and egg. Place chicken first in milk then coat with breadcrumb- ranch packet mixture. Place on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake in the oven at 415 degrees until done, approx 25 min.

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