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weeknight enchilada protein bowls

In The Kitchen

September 8, 2016

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guys.. i’m super excited about this dinner i made last night. i have been seeing people substituting out spaghetti squash for noodles for a long time now but i’ve never had the guts to actually try it out. a gal from work brought in a bunch from her garden and i had to give it a whirl. especially when i saw the idea of using it as a bowl in eat well magazine (amazing clean eating magazine btw) the original recipe looked amazing but i needed a little more of a protein boost because i just came from the gym (yeaaaa buddy) and i needed something simple, and satisfying.

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i’ve been working out with my pal nicki at phyx in grandville since april and she has really opened my eyes that healthy eating isn’t just about calories. it’s about protein, fiber, carbs, good fat bad fat and other mountains of information. once you get the hang of it you start knowing what to look for when you are cooking and/or eating out. one of my main goals this summer was to cook with as much local produce and meats as possible. cutting way back on the dairy cream sauces and cheese (it hurts but i’m learning new tricks). one of my favorite new tricks is using greek yogurt (plain) in stead of marscarpone, cream and sour cream. it holds together nicely and has more useful goodness to it than it’s counterparts. i topped this super spicy dish with just a dollop and it provided the nice cool palette refreshing cleanse this dish needed. you can make it as spicy as you want but for me, the spicier the better.

from start to finish this dish is going to take about an hour but most of it is prep and / or cooking time.

what you will need varies on what is in the garden but here is what i used. serves 4 if you cut the squash into quarters.

1 large spaghetti squash
2 large green peppers
1 medium zucchini
4 jalapeños
4 poblano peppers
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato
2 cloves of garlic
16oz chicken breast
1 can of red enchilada sauce (try to find one with the lowest amount of sodium)
1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp chives

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1. to start cut the spaghetti squash down the middle and lightly scoop out the seeds. don’t get too much of the guts that is what you’re going to eat. yummy. toss in the oven guts down on a tin foil baking sheet at 400 for 30-45 minutes pending how big your squash is. you want to be able to have it give when you tap the top.

2. while that is chopping prep your veggies. chop the sweet potato into small cubes so it cooks quickly. when you chop the zucchini up make sure you remove the seeds. those are water and will make things soggy. cut it into fourths and just shave it with a spoon. dice and slice all your other veggies (except the beans).

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3. poach the chicken in water until it reached 165 and shred with a fork.

4. toss the potato cubes into a pan with a little S&P and olive oil until cooked then add the peppers, zucchini and cook until a little brown then add in the beans and toss. let rest until the squash is done. once the squash is cooked allow to cool until you can flip it over and scoop out the guts with a fork (creates the noodle effect) and toss the noodles into the pan or a bigger bowl if you need it. mix all the veggies together and add the chicken.
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5. once all the chicken and veggies are mixed together add in the enchilada sauce and toss. then fill the empty squash bowls with the filling. top each half with cheese and bake for another 10-15 until melted.

6. allow to cool slightly and then add a dollop of greek yogurt and chives and friggen enjoy!

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Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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