Dinner at our house has become more and more spontaneous lately, which is not generally my style. I used to follow a regimented meal plan. Now, I look at what we have left-over, what’s in the pantry, what looks great at the market, and what’s on sale and figure something out. This dinner was born out of a need for more chicken stock and a great sale on squash.
Saffron is favorite spice of mine. It’s a little pricey but it’s worth the extra money for the great depth of flavor it provides. It’s actually the stamen of the crocus flower. You don’t need much to make a big impact on flavor, either.
I will eat spaghetti squash any day over regular pasta. I can cook gluten-free pasta, Joe likes it, but honestly I feel better when I don’t eat a lot of it. It’s a once-in-a-while food for us. Which brings me to my next point…
When it comes to long-term weight loss, it’s important to make lasting shifts in your diet. I’ve read about so many people that go gluten-free and gain weight, which baffles me. I wonder if ‘gluten-free’ hasn’t become the new ‘fat-free.’ I gained more weight eating fat-free foods because I thought I could eat it and not gain weight. Not so. This is true with gluten-free too. Gluten-free foods have calories just like anything else.
I don’t count calories. It makes me crazy. But I do make healthier choices. This meal is one of them.
I used about 1/2 of the chicken left-over from making chicken stock and stirred it in after the sauce had cooked, just to heat it through. Other options for chicken – brown the chicken before you start your sauce, remove the chicken, and then add it back in about 10 minutes before your sauce is done and let it cook with the rest of the sauce. You can also roast chicken breasts that have the bone-in and add the meat to the sauce.
If you don’t know how to roast a squash, read my tutorial here.
- 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced on a microplane
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- ½ – ¾ cup good quality chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
- ¼ cup italian parsley, chopped
- kosher salt
- and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until it begins to color, about a minute.
- Add tomatoes, thyme, 1/2 cup chicken stock, and saffron. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by about 25 percent, or until desired consistency is reached.
- Add in remaining stock if sauce is too thick. Stir in parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper.