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Heart-healthy chicken spaghetti!

Posted at 4:19 AM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 07:41:10-05

Remember that delicious chicken spaghetti recipe that everyone was raving over a few weeks ago?  My co-anchor Blaine Stewart was given the task of making a batch of his own, and he shared it with the newsroom to mostly rave reviews.  I indulged too, and loved it!

jess and kirsten

Jessica and Kristen in Woman's Day magazine

Then, I dug deeper into the numbers.  One serving has roughly 1,800 milligrams of sodium.  For some perspective, the American Heart Association's recommendation for sodium is 1500 milligrams per day.

I decided to reach out to my new friend, Chef Kirsten Helle.  She and I were both featured on the  February cover of Woman's Day Magazine for losing more than 100 pounds each.

Kirsten is also a chef based in Seattle, and works with clients to create a heart-healthy and incredibly tasty lifestyle.

It is delicious, and heart-healthy!  Check out Chef Kirsten Helle's Chicken Spaghetti - Healthified!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz whole grain spaghetti (use whole wheat, spelt or brown rice pasta)
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized or cut into very thin spaghetti-style strips
  • 2 tsp healthy oil/fat of your choice
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch (about ½ tsp) Kosher/sea salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tb white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tb flour (regular, whole wheat or brown rice flour)
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, when boiling add spaghetti and cook according to manufacturers recommendations until al dente (just cooked through). Add the shredded zucchini “noodles” to the boiling water the last 2 minutes. Drain and place back into the pot.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the rest of the dish. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms release their moisture (about 4-5 minutes), then keep cooking and the moisture will evaporate (8 minutes or so).
  5. When the moisture from the mushrooms is mostly gone add the diced chicken, diced onion, minced garlic, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through (about 8 more minutes.)
  6. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the wine or chicken broth to the pan. Stir the bottom of the pan and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring often, until most of the moisture has cooked away (about 3 minutes.)
  7. Stir the flour into the mixture for about 30 seconds.
  8. Stir in the milk. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Turn off the heat.
  9. Mix the parmesan and sharp cheddar cheeses together.
  10. Pour the entire chicken mixture into the pasta/zucchini and stir gently to combine everything. Pour into a 9x9 or 9x13 baking dish. Top evenly with the cheese.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes until golden bubbly and brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. 12. Enjoy and bring life to the table!

4 generous servings:  527 calories, 13 grams fat, 7 grams fiber, 46 grams protein.