Dietetic Intern Jessica’s SNAP Challenge- Day 5

Can you tell Jessica has a sweet tooth? Another post about healthy desserts! (See the first one here) She also shares how she uses the spaghetti squash she prepped ahead today. It turned out pretty tasty for her first time making it.

Breakfast:

  • Yogurt
  • Apple
  • Peanut butter (1 tbsp)
  • $1.10

Lunch:

  • 2 boiled eggs
  • Toast
  • Soymilk (1 cup)
  • $.90

Spaghetti Squash, Kale and Chicken Stirfry Dinner

Spaghetti Squash, Kale and Chicken Stir-fry Dinner

Dinner:

  • Chicken and spaghetti squash stir-fry (baked chicken, spaghetti squash, kale)
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet potato with butter (kind of made like a dessert- see note below!)
  • $2.60

Total cost for the day: $4.60

Nutrition profile: Today I was slightly under on fruit, veggies, dairy, and whole grains. I could have added more nutritious foods to my lunch, but I was in a hurry and did not have too much time to think of other stuff off the top of my head.

 Reflections:

I needed to use the spaghetti squash that I had in my fridge. This is my first time cooking with spaghetti squash, and I was kind of stumped on how to use it. I know that a lot of people substitute it for spaghetti noodles or make it as a casserole. Unfortunately, I did not budget for that this week. So, I needed to find a way to cook the squash with what I had. I decided to bake some chicken breast and make a spaghetti squash and kale stir-fry. I used olive oil to cook it all in, and I threw in a tablespoon or two of the reduced sodium chicken broth I had left over from the chili. I think the dish turned out lovely! The flavors blended really well as well as the colors. This is a dish I will definitely be doing again.

Let’s talk a little more about this spaghetti squash. I have a confession to make- I have actually tried to make this veggie before (let’s say like three times) and failed. Failed miserably. In the past, I bought the spaghetti squash and tried to cut through it and couldn’t. Then, I stuck it in the oven for like thirty minutes and after getting it out, realized that it was still tough. So, I was determined to persevere and conquer this veggie. Well, I am proud to say that I figured it out. Let me share my insight with you. First, you need a sharp, sturdy knife to cut through a spaghetti squash. It might take a while but don’t give up! Second, it takes a while to cook. It took mine about 1- 1.5 hours to cook. It’s probably not best to come home and start cooking the squash while you’re starving unless you are okay with waiting that long! Third, once it has been cooked, scoop out the seeds and pulp to get to the strands. Take a fork and scrape out the strands. My squash held SO much inside of it so I had a lot of “spaghetti” to work with.

Mashed Sweet Potato for Dessert

Mashed Sweet Potato for Dessert

Now, let’s talk about sweet potatoes.  I LOVE sweet potatoes. Packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these orange veggies can be cooked savory or sweet. Tonight, I made it sweet! To get the best flavor (in my opinion), cook the sweet potato in the oven for like an hour. But since I was feeling lazy, I zapped it in the microwave for about 4 minutes. This works pretty well and takes less time. To make the sweet potato more dessert-like, I add a tablespoon of butter, packet of Stevia sweetener, and some cinnamon. Yum!  I also made double portions of the chicken dish so I could have an easy lunch for tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Dietetic Intern Jessica’s SNAP Challenge- Day 5

    1. anb1044 Post author

      Thanks for sharing Ellen. Like most new foods, it takes a few tries before you get it right. I used to overcooked my spaghetti squash, making the “noodles” really mushy, before I figured it out.

      What’s your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash? I like to make mini Spaghetti & Meatball bites by putting a handful of spaghetti squash in each cup of a muffin tin, beat an egg and drizzle it over all the squash cups (to help it stick together), put a meatball on top of each cup (maybe a little cheese) and bake until it’s set. They pop out and make cute little muffins you can dip in spaghetti sauce. If I’m feeling too lazy to make meatballs, I just mix it all together (squash, cooked ground meat, some cheese, usually add some frozen spinach), put that mixture into the muffin tin and bake until it is cooked through.

      If you are interested in doing the SNAP challenge and want to write about your experience, just let me know and we can arrange it! I would love to share it with our followers to show how to put what FNP teaches into practice to Eat Smart on a tight budget.

      Reply
  1. Pingback: Spaghetti or Squash? | Eat Smart, Move More

Leave a Reply to anb1044 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *