To say that a lot has happened in my life over the past few weeks is an understatement. But regardless of my husband being out of county for the past 11 days, playing single parent to Reesey Girl and dealing with the consequences of my life decisions, I still manage to take care of my diet. My meals might be a little less complicated but that doesn’t mean that they have to suffer in the taste or health category. I always cook certain meats and vegetables in bulk. For the obvious reason of being prepared on a flexible eating program, but also for times like these when life is just so full of stuff that you might feel like straying from your goals. Having food items that you can mix and match that are half-prepped in the fridge makes things so much easier and really give you no excuse to fall off track.
As I stared in the fridge the other night, looking at what my options were, I saw a jar of pizza sauce and some leftover mozzarella balls. Unless I really plan for it, pizza doesn’t really fit into my macros very well, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative and emulate some of those same flavors using low-carb ingredients. My eyes went straight to some already cooked and shredded spaghetti squash and I thought to myself hmmm…how can I make pizza crust out of this??? So, I wouldn’t say that I made a crust per say, but I was able to spread a thin layer of spaghetti squash out in the bottom of a cast iron skillet, seasoned it and threw it in the oven to bake and crisp up a bit to act like a base for pizza toppings. This is not something you can slice. I’ll have to work on a recipe in the future that would allow that. This is simply a scoop and serve dish that can be made in any amount of servings. Since I’ve been flying solo, I made a personal dish…and ate it right out of the skillet. And it was amazing.
Try this one if you’re craving pizza. But there are honestly so many different directions you can take this. The ingredients for the recipe below are based on food items I already had on hand and were already prepped but you can literally use whatever meat and veggies that sound good to you! Pre-cooked items make this dish simple, easy and quick. But that is not a requirement! You can use all fresh ingredients and/or meats like pepperoni or sausage that will cook right in the oven. The ground chicken thigh in this recipe, however, should be cooked before baking.
For those on a flexible eating program, the calories and macros for this dish are: 420 Calories – 25C / 18F / 38P
The ingredient sizes are enough for a personal dish. Multiply as needed.
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake
200 g Cooked and Shredded Spaghetti Squash
63 g Marinara or Pizza Sauce (I used Trader Joes)
4 oz. Sautéed Ground Chicken Thigh
75 g Cooked Broccoli
45 g Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
32 g Sliced Black Olives
1 oz. Chopped Green Onion
47 g Fresh Mozzarella
3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a cast iron skillet with non-stick spray and evenly spread the cooked spaghetti squash across the bottom. Create a thin layer so it is easier for the squash to become a little crispy. Season the layer of squash with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Bake the spaghetti squash layer for 17-20 minutes or until the top of the squash starts to brown a bit. Once squash has begun to brown, take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Once the crust has cooled a bit, spread a thin layer of the marinara sauce over the crust. Then begin to assemble your toppings:
Spread your vegetables across the crust first: the chopped pieces of broccoli and sliced crimini mushrooms. Then layer the ground chicken and sliced olives. Take the chopped pieces of fresh mozzarella and evenly drop them around your pizza. Lastly, sprinkle with chopped garlic.
Bake for another 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees or until all ingredients are cooked through. If the mushrooms are cooked through and the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble, then the bake has been cooked thoroughly.
Top with red pepper flakes if you like a little extra kick! Eat directly out of the skillet or scoop onto a plate!