Sweet Potato and Apple Hash (Low Fat, Vegan, THM Friendly)

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the simplest of side dishes can wow the family and take an ordinary meal to the next level? I love it when that happens!  This Sweet Potato and Apple Hash has done that around our table. I grew up digging up sweet potatoes in my parent’s garden and eating them several times a month. There is no denying that they have always been one of my favorite side dishes and my little guy feels the same and always eats his portion and raves the whole time. Anytime I can introduce him to new flavor combos that he likes I know that I have done something right.

Sweet Potato and Apple Hash by My Table of Three

This roasted vegetable hash works well for vegans and vegetarians or people simply looking for a great low fat alternative side. It also fits well into the Trim Healthy Mama diet plan in the energizing meal category.  We love pairing this side with a lean roasted pork loin or turkey breast. The seasonings in the hash pair well with the favors of the those proteins. I can see this side being a hit on the Easter or Thanksgiving table during your family feast. There is just something about the sweet hearty flavor of the sweet potatoes mixed with the tartness of the apples that sets this apart from just being the ordinary old standby of roasted veggies.

Sweet Potato and Apple Hash

I wish these pictures had a scratch and sniff options. I think it would make a nice candle scent for the fall but I am odd that way. No surprise, right?

Sweet Potato and Apple Hash from My Table of Three

When this deliciousness roasts the apples cook quicker than the potatoes, making them become a little mushy but don’t worry because that is part of the magic here. As they begin to mush the natural sugars of the apples are caramelizing and clinging to the onions and potatoes melding them all together in a big flavor hug. Trust me when I say this is one veggie hug side dish that you don’t want to miss out on.  Try it soon!


Sweet Potato and Apple Hash (Low Fat, Vegan, THM Friendly)

Serves: 4-5                                  Oven Temp: 350

  • 5 small sweet potatoes
  • 3 small Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Rosemary (sage leaf will work also)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions: Chop up your veggies into even size cubes. Chop the onion in medium size pieces and break apart the onion so they are not so thick. Keeping the pieces close in size will help ensure the potatoes cook evenly. Add all your cubed ingredients into a large bowl and add in your spices and the oil. Toss the mixture together until all the pieces have some spices on them. Place the seasoned hash on a large baking sheet in one even layer and place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake the hash for 50 to 60 minutes. The main factor will be when you potato reaches your desired tenderness. Remove the pan from the oven half way through the cooking process and flip the pieces over so they get some color on both sides. Be sure to spread them out even again before returning to the oven. Finish cooking and serve.

**Note: For those that follow a plan where you watch carbs can count on roughly 25-30 carbs per cup. I like to enjoy 3/4-1 cup as a serving. This number is an estimate and it will vary some either way depending on the sizes of your sweet potatoes and apples. If you want to know your exact count you will need to calculate your own carbs based on your ingredients.

Coconut Buttermilk Pie (Low Carb,Gluten Free, THM Friendly)

One of my favorite things to do on my journey to health as you may have noticed is to find ways to enjoy my favorite recipes from childhood or special times in my life without the heavy carbs and processed sugars. This pie recipe is no different. It is inspired by a pie that I seen at bed and breakfast years ago that no doubt would have been delicious but full of the sugar I try to avoid. Though not exactly the same this version of a buttermilk pie is pretty close to what I remembered it being.

I am not sure what made me think of that pie a couple weeks back but as soon as I did I knew that I needed to try my hand at making one sugar free and low carb.  I set out trying to find an old family recipe of buttermilk pie that I could play around. As you can see from the pictures I did find one in our family cookbooks and indeed had some success at converting this beautiful pie over to one we can enjoy without guilt! This is not an overly sweet pie so if you like really sweet you may want to adjust the amount of sweetener you use, but we thought it was just about right for our liking.

Low Carb Coconut Buttermilk Pie

I know you may be wondering about how I made a low carb pie out of buttermilk but don’t fret because I found a way to get the texture and taste very close to a buttermilk pie without actually using buttermilk.  The sour milk that is typically used in buttermilk pies can be a little to high in carbs for my perference but I get the same effect here by using heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon of white vinegar. A kitchen hack I have seen used in regular milk many times around the internet.  When you add the vinegar to your cup of whipping ream it basically sours and thickens the cream. Basically changing it into a lower carb ‘mock buttermilk” and thus becoming the key ingredient of this pie. It may not sound appealing but the taste and texture of this pie will surely win you over.  It is creamy and so rich that you will love it. Again, it may not be an exact replica but very close in my opinion.

IMG_0687I love coconut but my husband and son do not share the same enthusiasm with the “chewy stuff” (as my little guy calls) it so I will definitely be making this pie again soon and leaving it out for just a basic Low Carb Buttermilk Pie for those guys. After all they do put up with tasting all my creations ….good and BAD. Believe me when I say again, there have definitely been some bad! So I try to cater to them as often as I can to keep them happy and willing! If you don’t like coconut either you can omit it totally or perhaps add chopped nuts instead. I am sure it will be great either way.

Coconut Buttermilk Pie Low Carb

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Coconut Buttermilk Pie (Low Carb, Gluten Free, THM Friendly)

Oven Temp: 350                                           Serves: 6-8

Filling

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp of Pyure or Truvia (see note below recipe)
  • 1 stick of softened butter (not melted)
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt

 

*First stir in the vinegar with your heavy cream and let sit for 10 before mixing in your filling

Directions: To make your filling combine all the ingredients except the coconut in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth. There should be no lumps. It is important to have your butter very soft so that it mixes in but DO NOT melt the butter and add it to the pie as the heat from the butter will scramble your egg mixture. That is a mess, trust me.  Once your filling is smooth you can stir in your coconut flakes and add the mixture to your crust. Bake the pie in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until it is completely set. Oven temps vary so your baking time may also.

Crust

  • 1/4 cup of Oat Fiber
  • 1 1/4 cup of THM Baking Blend (or your low carb favorite mix)
  • 3 Tablespoons of  Pyure Sweetener
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of cubed cold butter
  • 5-6 Tablespoons of cold water

**To Make the crust add in your dry ingredients into your food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Next on low speed dropped in your very cold cubed butter. Once you have mixed in all your butter start adding in your cold water one tablespoon at a time until the crust mixture starts to come together. Don’t add too much as your dough will become very wet and will be sticky and hard to roll out.  As soon as it comes together and can be formed into a small flat disc. Wrap it tight in clear wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. When chilled place it between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to fit your 9-10 inch pie plate. This crust can be temperamental so be patient when you are getting it into your pan.  If it tears or rips don’t worry, just patch it up. The filling covers the imperfections.

Note: If you are using a different sweetener you can use this sweetener conversion chart on the Trim Healthy Mama website to determine the correct amount you need.

Cheesy Chicken Florentine (Low Carb, THM- S Friendly)

Someone ask me the other day if I ever had bad days in the kitchen. I just laughed as they  ( my many bad days) all came flooding back to me.  So to answer, I tucked the most embarrassing ones back in the dark corners of my mind for another time and confessed some of the others.  Hey, I need to keep some mystery about me don’t I ? Of course!

Looking back several of those memories cause me to giggle but there are some that make me CRINGE when I think about look and taste of them. I won’t subject you guys to all of my recipe bloopers yet (maybe in the future) but to get a glimpse just imagine my waffle maker that took my husband  days okay a whole week to get clean! Yep, bless his heart he is my biggest supporter and he graciously tackles dish detail in our home. Trust me, taking on a food bloggers kitchen is no easy feat. Some weeks there is a bottomless sink of dishes at all times during the day! Poor guy, but he enjoys when I pay him with the finished treat.

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Thankfully, my latest botched trial for a recipe turned out to be a nice surprise instead of an embarrassing moment that I would like to forget. This creamy and rich casserole was meant to be something TOTALLY different but I got half way into making the dish and realized that I had somehow forgot to purchase some items to finish it. So that recipe just didn’t work out that night but “tada” a nice new family style meal that is so satisfying and super easy to make.

Oh this casserole isn’t going to win any trophies in the “oh so fancy” category but it does score major gold for the “no special ingredients” and “freezer meal” categories. I don’t know about you, but those two trump fancy with this busy girl any day of the week!

My Table of Three Recipe

Now, let me tell you more about why this casserole is a smart dinner option. Remember  earlier I said it was super easy, man did I tell the truth! You just add all the sauce ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth. After you have blended and set aside your sauce you can then work on the “Florentine” component of the dish but don’t let that fancy word fool you for a second. In this recipe it just means that spinach is involved. I use 10 ounces of fresh cooked spinach that has been sauteed, drained very well and then added to the casserole mix. See, nothing fancy about spinach. I prefer cooking my own spinach from fresh because I think it has a milder taste.  You can absolutely use frozen if it is easier for you also. If you totally are against the spinach you can use kale or even leave it out if you want. In any case just make sure you squeeze all the excess water out of your greens before adding it to your mix or it could become a watery mess.

Oh and word to the wise if you cook your own instead of frozen, wait until it cools completely before squeezing the water out. OUCH! Yep, I am speaking from experience.  In my defense  I was in a hurry to get the casserole done to feed my hungry family and again my zonked brain was lacking energy at the time. It had been a long day but ended well.

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Once you have your spinach cooked and drained you can toss it in a big mixing bowl with your shredded chicken, 4 oz of your shredded cheese and half (1/3 cup) of Parmesan. Next pour your sauce mixture into the big bowl and add in the spices. Once it is all added just stir the mixture up until all ingredient are incorporated. Lastly, pour your mixture into your 13×9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake and serve!  You can find the full recipe and baking temperature below in the recipe section of this post.

If you are making this as a freezer meal you would add it to your pan and top with the remaining cheese. Cover it tightly and put it into the freezer. When you are ready for your meal just thaw it in the fridge the day before and bake it for dinner the next evening. You could bake it straight from frozen but that would add about an hour or more to the cook time, so I highly recommend thawing first. I also love using disposable pans for my freezer meals for faster cleanup later and my hubby thanks me for that each time I do, haha!  I hope you enjoy this casserole around your table as much as we do!

Side dish suggestions: I would suggest a small serving of a nice green salad or other green non-startchy veggies since the casserole has some carbs already from the spinach and sauce. I typically eat about a cup of this as a serving.  It is very filling and satisfying.


 Cheesy Chicken Florentine (Low Carb, THM-S Friendly)

Oven Temp: 350                                   Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz.  Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup  Daisy Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Duke’s Real Mayo
  • 2/3 c  Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided equally
  • 8 oz.  Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided in half
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  (14.5 oz) jar of Prego Artisan Three Cheese Sauce
  • 12 oz. Thawed Spinach (drained and squeezed dry)
  • 2 lb. shredded chicken
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
*Note: When buying your cream cheese, mayo and jarred sauce try to look for the brands that have 1-2 carbs per serving or LESS to avoid over doing it on carbs. The brand I suggest in the recipe are the lowest I have found.

Directions: In a food processor add in your cream cheese, Prego Sauce, cottage cheese, mayo and eggs. Blend all the ingredients in your food processor until it is smooth. In a large mixing bowl add in your shredded chicken, spices, thawed and drained spinach (remember to squeeze extra water out), 4 oz of the Mozzarella and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Pour your sauce mixture into the bowl with the the other ingredients and stir until it is all completely incorporated. Once your mixture is ready pour it into a 13×9 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake the casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes and serve with a lite salad or non-starchy veggies like green beans.

Creamy Cauliflower Salad (Low Carb, Gluten Free, THM-S)

*This post may contain affiliate links. By ordering through those links you find the same great great prices but I receive a small commission that helps me support my site and love of recipe creation. All recipes and opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own


 

I love potato salad and have all my life but of course eating lower carb like I do now on Trim Healthy Mama I don’t include white potatoes in our meal rotations any more. Now, I could cry over this or I could spurge cheat by eating them anyway. But I had rather save myself some guilt and come up with sides that are healthier. Besides I have an ugly cry and I try to spare people that image when at all possible. Your welcome!

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As many of you know cauliflower is a fantastic substitute for the white spuds. Oh I know, there are some skeptics that roll their eyes when we suggest that this is true, but if you haven’t tried the switch yet you really should. Not only can it lower the carbs in a dish it also cuts calories down.

Who am I kidding? There will be NOTHING low calorie about this recipe once you mix in the mayo and bacon! Ha…it was the thought that counts right? Thankfully if you are following Trim Healthy Mama or another low carb plan who’s counting anyway?

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Now, would you just look at all that yummiess? Yes…that is a legit food term. It could totally pass for a potato salad if I had not told you my secret already. Since the cauliflower is such a mild tasting veggie when cooked and added to dishes like this the taste is remarkably close. I think it is because it soaks up all the flavors you add in. Just like potatoes do. Again, with the eye rolls right? I did say ALMOST for all you skeptics lol.

This recipe is a twist on my old stand by “fauxtato salad” which I adapted to low carb a few years back. It packs a punch and has lots of crunch! Hey…I can rhyme. Did ya see that? Okay, okay…so I won’t give up my day job to write poetry. Kill a girl’s dreams why don’t ya? Kidding…I had rather cook any way.

To establish the crunch factor here I use celery which adds a freshness and bacon…which I dream about. Really. I think the difference in textures  give this salad just right balance. I am getting hungry just thinking about all that goodness. Just so happens I think we have left overs in the fridge!

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I love to have this salad paired with fried chicken or my oven baked ribs any time of year. How can you go wrong with either of those? Okay wait…you can’t! Depending on what protein I am making I sometimes add more mustard. Like here, with the ribs I added more because I like the tang and the way it cuts the sweetness of my low carb BBQ sauce.

I had to just wipe the drool off my chin. Embarrassing I know, but it really is delicious.  If these pictures don’t convince you then I may just have to break out that ugly cry we talked about until you try it. Trust me… you REALLY don’t want me to do that.

So do yourself a favor and try swapping out those starchy spuds with cauliflower in this recipe or even in your favorite potato salad recipe. Trust me, you will be glad you did!

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Creamy Cauliflower Salad

  • 1  large head of cauliflower (or two bags of frozen)
  • 2 small stalks of celery , chopped small
  • 2 to 3 green onions, chopped
  • 6 pieces of crispy fried bacon, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp of dill pickle relish
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3/4 cups of Dukes Real Mayo (or any brand you prefer)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp of mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions: To begin steam or boil your cauliflower until it is tender but not mushy. Once your cauliflower is cooked it is best to drain off any water and let it cool completely. Once cooled add to a large mixing bowl and add in all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning if needed and chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Notes:

  • If you like a drier mix just start with a 1/2 cup of mayo and add more until you reach your desired consistency.
  • For a milder celery taste just add one stalk which you have chopped fine.

 

 

Low Carb Chinese “Fried Rice” (Low Carb, Gluten Free, THM S)

Now before you say “another Chinese Recipe already?”, remember I did warn you guys of my undying love for the stuff in an earlier post lol. So please forgive my obsession if you will (I know you guys are great like that). If you aren’t aware of the depth of that love let me give you the shortened version of that previous discussion in one sentence. I love the stuff to the moon and back! Judging from all the views and shares of my Chinese Pork and Broccoli I would say many of you feel the same way! Thank you all so much for stopping by that post by the way. I am so glad you have come back by my table to try this one out!

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Though I call this a “fried rice” dish it technically has no rice in it at all. What? Yep, you heard me correctly, no rice. Not a one grain! This is one of my favorite ways to use fresh cauliflower. Now, if you have not “riced” a head of this very versatile vegetable then be sure to stop over at my “how to” post on this topic. You can find my “How to Rice Cauliflower” post here. For the sake of not having yet other super long post I will just assume you guys have stopped by the post on it here and know how do it. Trust me, you don’t want me to get on one of my rambling spells!

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This recipe is an S fuel if you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan and I like to pair it with my Chinese Pork (mentioned above) or a Sweet and Sour Chicken (all low carb and THM approved). If you like E meals you can totally covert it to an E by .reducing the cooking oils and using some brown rice if you use grains. I have even added some chicken breast to my E version so we have our lean protein in the same pan. This cauliflower version will work great on any low carb plan and it is a great alternative for those that are totally grain free. For this version of my fried rice I start by sauteing some lower carb veggies like green beans, celery, bell peppers, green onions in coconut oil until they are tender. I also throw in a couple of tablespoons of a frozen mix of peas and carrots. Don’t panic about these having a bit more carbs because when divided over the whole large batch this will not put your carbs over S limits. I stick to just 2 Tbsp.

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Once I have my veggies nice and tender I add the “riced” cauliflower to the pan. When you do this you may have to also add some more oil to your pan as you don’t want it to stick and burn. A little brown flavoring from the pan is good..but let me tell you burnt cauliflower rice is not a pretty smell. It is a good idea to keep an eye on it and stir often. Because of the size of the cauliflower pieces they will cook quickly so go ahead and add your seasonings and Bragg’s Aminos the to the mixture now so it has time to flavoring everything in the pan. You can use any seasoning you like if the ones I list below don’t make your taste buds smile. I always end up adding more spices than I have listed because we like bold flavor but start with the amounts I have listed and adjust from there.  Some have ask me if they could use a packet prepared “fried rice” season that they find at Wal-Mart on the Asian aisle but I am not sure what all is in those packets. If you want to check them out you can. Just make sure they do not have any “off plan” ingredients in the list of ingredients.

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The last step in this recipe is to scramble two whole eggs together in a bowl and pour them into the rice mixture after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes and stir it well until the eggs are all through the dish and cooked through. This step will only take around 2 to 3 minutes after you add the eggs. If you or someone in your family has an egg allergy you can totally leave this step out. We use the eggs but there has been a time or two when this was a throw together meal for me on a day when we were out of eggs. I bet you all know those “day before grocery day”, right). It was still delicious. I apologize for this picture being blurry. It is due the smoke rising from the pan as I was trying to get a good shot.  It is much harder than I though it would be to cook and take pictures so thanks for your grace here.

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To serve this rice just dish it up and garnish it with some toasted sesame seeds or some chopped green onions. You can even add some more Bragg’s (or Soy Sauce) to your taste. Remember you can just toss in some chicken and this can become a complete meal in a pan. Who doesn’t love only having one pan to wash? My hubby is our dish washer here (poor guy didn’t know what he was getting into) so he loves the condensing of pots! So once again I say thank you for stopping by my little table and taking the time to read and try these recipes. I hope you come back soon! Be sure to click on the Follow Button’ on the right hand side of the page for more recipes to come.


 

 

Chinese Fried Rice (Low Carb, Gluten Free, Grain Free, THM Friendly)

Serves: 5-6

  • 1 head of fresh cauliflower riced
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of frozen non-starchy veggie you like
  • 1 cup chopped read and green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp of Bragg’s Aminos or Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger or fresh (I always end up adding 2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Cook your veggies in your coconut oil until you have your desired tenderness. Once your veggies are ready simply add your riced cauliflower. I would say about 3 to 4 cups of “rice” is what I normally get from a head. At this point you can add your spices and Sesame Oil to the pan and then stir the mixture well until it is all incorporated nicely. This is the point where I normally have to use my coconut oil to keep the rice from sticking but use your on judgement on how much more to add. Cook the mixture for about 7 to 8 minutes stirring frequently before adding in the two scrambled eggs. After the eggs are added and you have mixed them in well just allow the dish to cook a few minutes more until the eggs are cooked through.

How to “Rice” Fresh Cauliflower

You may be thinking that there is “no way” that you can possibly replace one of your favorite grains with a vegetable but I am here to tell you my friends you can! Now, with that being said, you have to go into this with an open mind. You simple can’t expect the texture to be exactly like the actual grain, but it really is close. I think the flavor and the fact that this version of “rice” is so much lower in carbs more than makes up for the texture differences. We have eaten it so much now that we think it is a close match!

I must say that the fear of the process and a couple of failed attempts with frozen cauliflower in the past has kept me from shouting the praises, but that is no longer the case thankfully. I now look back and see that it was nothing to be intimidated by. I will admit willing that I still have not mastered this with frozen cauliflower but I have heard that some have.

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I use it in dishes like “Fried Rice” and “Stuffed Bell Peppers”. I will be posting those two recipes using this “rice” very soon over on recipes so stay tuned. I am also in the process of working on a new recipe for “Spanish Rice” but that isn’t quite ready to share. I am trying to keep readers not run them off right? Right! So I will do you all a favor and not share that one until it is perfect!

Now, how fair would it be if I only rambled about how easy it was and then didn’t share the steps with you? Not fair at all since that was why you stopped by this post! So with no further delay let’s get busy!

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The first step in making our cauliflower rice is to take the head of cauliflower out of the plastic wrapper. Okay, okay so that may just be something I have to remind myself of after I a rough day teaching math and reading during school lessons. No judgments right, lol? Besides it doesn’t happen if I have had the right amount of coffee during the day! For you clear headed readers I would say “Step 1, wash the cauliflower and break the head up into florets”. Don’t worry about a perfect size floret. I find that you don’t have to have get pieces to small just don’t leave them huge. About the size in the photo is perfect.

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Once you have the florets broken up just toss some into the food processor and pulse in batches. I say pulse but if I am in a hurry ( which is most of the time if we are being open and honest) I click that little knob right on over to “on” instead of  “pulse” and blend away. I do take time to watch it closely as it is blending (or pulsing if you are more patient) because you want the florets to be chopped into tiny grain size pieces but not a watery mush.  This is also why I say to do it in batches. If you do find that you can do all the florets at once in your food processor then that is wonderful and a small time saver. BONUS!

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Once you have gotten the batches all processed down to the size of rice it is ready to use. See? I told you it was easy! I have found that my head of cauliflower usually make around four cups of “rice” but that may vary for you since it will depend on the size of your cauliflower head. If I am not going to use all of it right away I store it is a freezer bag in the fridge until I need it.  Typically it will last a day or so in the fridge but you can freeze it if you don’t need it for a while. Just thaw it out and drain before adding it to your recipe if you freeze it. Make a note here that the texture might change a bit after frozen but it is still great to throw in dishes.

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Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

It really looks and tastes like rice in my “Chicken Fried Rice” seen above.

I just can’t say this enough but the cauliflower rice really is a great way (I have said great a lot too but it is true) to save carbs in many of our favorite dishes or calories for those counting those pesky little fellows. For those of us following Trim Healthy Mama plan this “rice” is great for those S meals where brown rice should not be used. It will leave you feeling like you just had a treat but also help you keep those carbs under 10.

I hope that this post has shed some light on how easy the process can be for those thinking it was hard like I did. Hopefully I have convinced the cauliflower skeptics out there to at least give it a whirl. Or “pulse” in this case. Happy “ricing” to each of you and thanks for pulling up a chair at my table today!

Fried Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash (S)

My husband and I started a type of low carb eating years ago and in the process I was on the look out for pasta alternatives. That search and low carb forums led me to Spaghetti Squash! The spaghetti squash looks more like a gourd than any squash I had seen and it falls into the “winter squash” category. Before you turn your nose up and run, just hear me out. I hope to change your mind!  If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan this recipe falls under the S fuel due to the fat in the fried chicken and the fat from the Alfredo sauce. This dish will work great for other low carb diets as well not just our beloved THM.

Let’s get started, so we can eat!  I always make a little extra at our meals so we can have left overs for lunches if we are lucky!  This meal warms up nicely! Before I tell you how i prepared the squash let IMG_9400me warn you that it can be very hard so be careful and hold it steady as you cut it so you don’t cut yourself. I have to be careful because there are NEVER  any bandages left in our home when I need one. All thanks to my six your old. I am sure everyone with children can relate to this. Okay, moving on since we are now watching our fingers.  Using a sharp knife slice off the top stem of the squash and then slice the squash into two equal halves. I usually stand it up on the flat end where I cut the stem off of to make it easier. Make sure your halves are as close to equal size as possible so they will cook evenly in the oven. You want the “noodles” that come out of both halves to be the same tenderness. Next, I brush each half with some olive oil and season it with garlic, salt and pepper to add flavor but this step is optional. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until they are tender.

As the squash bakes in the oven it is a great time to move on to your other components of the dish.  As mine is baking I fry my chicken breast that I have coated with my oat fiber and seasoning mix. You can order the Trim Healthy Mama brand (which is my favorite) here. If you don’t have the oat fiber you can always use any low carb breading you enjoy.  I generally pan fry since I don’t have a deep fryer handy and my oil of choice is coconut oil (the refined kind so it has no flavor). Olive oil will work as well. For this recipes I used 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but f your family prefers dark meat then use boneless thighs.

Once you have fried your chicken cooked your squash should be ready. After your squash has cooled a by shred it by taking a fork and gently pulling it IMG_9407across the flesh of the squash. Repeat this step until you have all the squash out of the skins.  It really does come out easily and looking like spaghetti. Be sure you don’t over cook it or it will become more of a mush than noodles. A tasty mush by not very attractive on the plate. You can see from this photo the “noodle” like resemblance!

I really like to make my own Alfredo sauce from cream, butter and Parmesan cheese but I was in a rush tonight so I grabbed a jar sauce I had in the cabinet. Okay my purist sistas, you might cringing right now and I totally get that fresh homemade is better but we were starving and we still had a day’s worth of homeschooling to get done! So with that being said, I put on the “Drive Thru Sue” hat  I keep tucked away, and pulled out a jar of Ragu Alfredo.  Now, let me say here that all sauces are not created equal when it comes to carb counts so be mindful of that if your going to use a jar as I did. This brand has 2 net carbs per 1/2 cup so I didn’t feel like that was a bad trade-off for the convenience factor.

After heating the sauce all that is left to do is adding some of the squash noodles to a plate and topping it off with some chicken and sauce. If you prefer your chicken not to be on top then you can always serve the squash on the side . See, how easy that is? I really love this dish and the fact that I can have my “pasta” and not the carbs! I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear from you if you try it!

Fried Chicken Alfredo (Feeds 3 to 5 people)

  • 3 large.skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in half
  • 2 medium Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 jar of Ragu Alfredo Sauce (or make your own)

Chicken Coating

  • 1/3 cup of Oat Fiber (I get mine from Trim Healthy Mama’s website)
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

*Feel free to add or use your favorite spices to this mixture. It is strictly up to your family’s tastes.

Directions:

Squash: cut the stem off of your squash and then cut them into equal halves. After scooping out the seeds and fibers brush with olive oil and lay flesh side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees or until your desired tenderness is reached. After the squash has cooked and cooled take a fork to “shred” the flesh into a serving bowl. Top with the warm Ragu sauce and your chicken. This would also be so good finished off with a little fresh Parmesan!

Chicken: coat your chicken breasts in the oat fiber mixture or breading of your choice and fry in batches until done. The chicken can be served on top of Alfredo or on the side.

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