Who am I to talk about traditional Indian dishes but oh, I will go there. Prepare to be amazed.
If my Ukrainian grandma could make a chicken curry with sour cream, onions and curry powder back in the 90s, why can’t I make some butter chicken and spaghetti squash pretending squash is pasta?! Haha, let’s be clear spaghetti squash doesn’t replace spaghetti but tastes very good.
By the way, grandma’s curry was DELISH! Not original but a tasty healthy meal really has no rules to it. Too many rules and ingredients with judgement followed up scares so many women in America to cook. I am confident that is the case. I was one of them and still am to a certain degree. There is always a noise in my head “Is this the right way to cook tacos (fajitas, curry, chili etc.?)”.
Who cares?! Just cook a meal the way you like it, that tastes good to you and saves you money on restaurants and prescriptions.
So…Completely inspired by evening West Coast walks when fresh damp air becomes a concoction of flavours of the world strolling the streets of my middle class neighbourhood (minus the toxic dryer VOCs). On any given summer morning I can smell curry from a neighbour’s house where an 80 year old grandma spends days cooking her family’s meals and washing dishes by hand.
I’m sure the grandma would give my spaghetti squash boats with chicken a raised eyebrow but what does she know about cellulite and HIIT workouts?! I bet it is all good in her hood. My Canadian mom’s life is hard.
This butter chicken spaghetti squash is flavourful enough for my Ukrainian tastebuds and spot on for my Canadian kids’ palettes. Heavy on healthy fats from coconut milk and loaded with antioxidant spices like ginger, curry powder and garam masala. Spices are really powerful! And garlic – natural antibiotic. And onion. It is all in.
My butter chicken journey started with a jar of store-bought butter chicken sauce at The Real Canadian Superstore 14 years ago. When I still wore only one ring, thought baby carseat was a crib and didn’t think what’s for dinner until dinner. I can’t even remember what we were eating. My memory is blank and oh, how I would love to get a glimpse into my fridge 2002. I bet you 100% it contained a lyoner sausage.
I came across small spaghetti squash at the farmers market a few weeks back. While many (starting with my mom – I will never forget that) might think squash is a lot of work, spaghetti squash is not. You cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake for 30 minutes or so. Cool down a bit and shred with a fork. That is it.
Spaghetti squash has barely any taste, mimics spaghetti (don’t get too hung up on this one, just pretend, nothing replaces carb spaghetti) and is loaded with potassium, fiber and vitamins.
Buy it and cook it! Don’t be a chicken!
For making butter chicken sauce I used whole chicken. No, I just butchered it myself because guess what?! It comes out much cheaper then buying separated organic (free run) chicken pieces. At my farmer’s store chicken breasts are $8.99/lb and whole chicken costs $3.29/lb. Do the math. My hands aren’t afraid to get dirty and pick ups fillet knife when we are talking about extra mortgage payment which means “Mexico, here I come!”.
A whole chicken in my kitchen was turned into chicken and spaghetti squash, soup and broth for later use. Tadah. I’m not rich. I just don’t waste money on convenience and school’s cookie fundraisers. 😛
I gotta be honest and tell you that squash with chicken won’t keep me, Alex or boys full. Come on, let’s get real. I look at these spaghetti squash boats as a great way to serve a lot of vegetables along with delicious chicken in sauce. So, what I do is I cook whole wheat spaghetti on a side and mix it in. Yep, I eat whole grain pasta occasionally. It’s fine. I’m alive. I actually slimmed down. I should write a post about my recent workouts and eating habits. Done deal.
My kids loved this! I have a hard time feeding them fall vegetables like squash, sweet potato and beets, but this was eaten in 5 minutes.
- 4 small spaghetti squash ( 1 1/2 lbs each)*
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp ginger, dried**
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 oz (1/2 can) tomato paste
- 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. Poke skin randomly with a fork and bake for 30 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, preheat large skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and onion; sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garam masala, ginger, curry powder, salt and pepper; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
- Add tomato paste and mix it well with (incorporate into) onion and spices. Add coconut milk and stir until combined. Now add chicken, and stir to coat. Cover, cook for 15 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Remove cooked squash from the oven and turn it over wearing mitts and with a help of a fork. It will cool this way faster; about 10 minutes. To make “spaghetti”, grab one half wearing a mitt and separate the flesh into strands with a fork. Divide butter chicken mixture evenly among the boats, return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with extra whole wheat spaghetti on a side if you wish.
*You can use 3 medium squash about 2 lbs each as I understand small spaghetti squash is hard to come across. I bought mine at the farmers market. **I didn’t have fresh ginger on hand but you can definitely replace dried ginger with about 1-2” piece of grated fresh ginger.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving = 1 squash (2 halves):
Total Fat: 23.4 g
Cholesterol: 82.5 mg
Sodium: 1,047.0 mg
Total Carbs: 67.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 13.9 g
Protein: 47.2 g
WW Points+: 16