Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hot Ham and Cheese Spaghetti Squash with Chicken

For those of you who read my blog post yesterday, you're already aware that I've recently injured myself.  I absolutely hate the fact that my working out, at least for now, has become limited.  If I were to describe my personality to you, I'd have to say that I have some rather distinctive character traits.  I'm definitely the type of person who doesn't let things stand in my way, especially if someone tells me that I can't do something.  Typically, that just makes me want to do it all the more. 

However, at least for now, I sadly know that I'm limited in my physical abilities and it kills me.  Mostly because working out is such a huge portion of my life and has been for awhile now.  Due to my injury though, it can be painful at times just to walk.  With that being said it looks like, at least for now, I'll have to direct my attention/dedication elsewhere.  I'm definitely not the type of person though, who's just going to sit around feeling sorry for myself.

With that being said, I'm choosing to focus my attention on nutrition.  Throughout the past few years I've definitely gotten down the fitness routine, but my eating habits haven't always gone along with it.  Growing up I was always a skinny child, and then I hit puberty and kind of inflated.  After that, I tended to struggle a little bit with my weight, usually averaging between 140-155 pounds.  I was always in the mindset though, that I wanted to lose some weight, but was never motivated enough to actually go workout.  Believe it or not, as much as I love running now, I use to skip my jogging class in college. 

Then, one day, after seeing how successful a colleague/friend of mine was with her own weight loss journey, I decided to make a change to my diet and start exercising too.  Ultimately, that was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  My goal at the time was just to get back down to my wedding weight, which was 132 pounds.  Once I hit that goal though, I decided to keep going.  The journey I made was by no means an easy one.  I had to give up things that I enjoyed and it didn't happen overnight, but I honestly never felt so good about myself.  It definitely presented a physical challenge, and, as some people know, I'm always up for a good challenge.

Looking back now, I want to have that feeling of accomplishment again, because there's really nothing else like it.  So, let's take a journey together, and if you want to keep up with how I'm doing, than you can continue to read my posts.  Otherwise, you can choose to just look at, and maybe make, my delicious recipes.


Today's recipe was actually my lunch yesterday, and lucky for me, I have some leftovers for today.  I've tried once before to cook a spaghetti squash, and it didn't turn out so well (meaning it wasn't exactly stringy like it was suppose to be, but rather a little clumpy).  Therefore, I decided to "Google" spaghetti squash to see exactly where I went wrong.  This time around, I learned from my mistakes and it turned out perfectly. 

*Helpful Tip* - When you go to remove the squash from the shell, you first have to pry it apart from all sides and then pull it apart using a fork or your fingers (make sure to let it cool some before doing this).  Here's a helpful youtube video that shows you exactly what to do.    

Important FYI.....Spaghetti squash is currently in season, and they look absolutely gorgeous!  They're both large in size and the perfect color, which means delicious tasting squash!  That's why, despite my injury, I'm actually going to go to the store again this afternoon.  I'd like to purchase one or two more squash, which means that there should be some new recipes posted here very soon.

Hot Ham and Cheese Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
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Servings: 1
1 half of a spaghetti squash
Olive oil
Garlic powder
1 can chunk chicken, drained (I heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds
2 oz. diced boneless ham cubes
1 triangle light laughing cow cheese (I used white cheddar, but choose your favorite)
Black pepper
Chili powder
Parmesan cheese
4-5 sprays of I can’t Believe It’s not Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Very carefully (they are difficult to penetrate) cut a spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.  Place both of the halves, face up, onto a baking sheet and then spread some olive oil onto each half, just to keep it moist while baking.  After the olive oil has been spread on, sprinkle just a little bit of garlic powder on top, but be careful not to add too much.  I probably sprinkled about 1 tsp. of powder onto each half.  Once ready, place the baking sheet into the oven and let cook for 45-50 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the squash to cool for 10 minutes, or until you can work with it without burning yourself.  Pry one of the squash halves from the side of the shell, using a fork, and then toss around to get the noodle formation.  (If you are cooking for more than 1, do the same thing to the other half and double the recipe)

Place the ‘noodles’ from 1 half of the squash into a bowl and add in the laughing cow cheese.  Toss around, using a fork, until the cheese is completely melted (make sure not to smash the noodles).  Now, add in the chicken and the ham, followed by a dash of black pepper, chili powder, and a few sprays of butter.  Once again, toss around with a fork until everything is well combined.  Then, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and serve warm!
Source: Bowl of Creativity original


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