My junior year of college our school built a new gym that got national attention for how state of the art it was. I was back earlier than most from winter break and was excited to be able to check out the new digs before it was overrun by the rest of the returning students. Let me preface this story with the fact that I was no gym rat and was very unfamiliar with most of the equipment. So, obviously, I pretended to know EXACTLY what I was doing as I made my way down to the the weight area. I saddled up to a machine and began working on my stretching. About one minute later, one of the more popular guys in our school locks eyes with me from across the gym… and STARTS APPROACHING. ”Clearly, he’s impressed by my fitness level and knowledge and is coming over to ask me to be partners… in the gym and out ;)” were my exact thoughts.
Well, JK (we’ll call him that for now), finally gets over to me and asks if I know that the machine (that my foot is in the strap of, with my leg is over my head), is an arm machine. AN ARM MACHINE. Well, no I did not. Thanks. So, I did what any other girl in my position would do, I immediately shot back with, “Yeah, I know. This is just a stretching technique my trainer taught me.”
Then, I removed my foot from the hand strap, after a three minute struggle because shoes are bigger than hands, and left the weight area with my butt cheeks clenched in horror.
That moment when you realize you’ve been doing something wrong the whole time… awwkkkkarrd. Well, I just recently found out that I’ve been doing something else wrong the whole time, thanks to my friend Matt (hheyyyyy Matt!!). For years, I’ve been diligent about making sure I clean and prepare chicken properly to avoid cross contamination and last week I found out, my efforts have been more dangerous than helpful!
So, I wanted to share with all of you, so you no longer find yourself putting your foot in the hand strap of chicken preparation.
BIG LESSON: Don’t wash that chicken! Food safety experts have recently found that when you wash raw chicken, something called aerosolization happens — an invisible spray that’s going to potentially carry that bacteria for a foot or two feet. That means your cutting surfaces, food on the counter, utensils, etc. could all be getting hit with the spray.
You’re better to just pat the chicken down with a paper towel and the cooking process with take care of the rest. Can you believe we’ve been doing it wrong all along?? How awkward.
Now that we know, let’s not kill ourselves with e-coli spraying around the kitchen and enjoy this skinny chicken alfredo “spaghetti”. The recipe is made with spaghetti squash – and while it’s no noodle impostor as some people want to trick you into thinking – it IS a great alternative for a super healthy dinner. And this has tons of flavor and none of the guilt. THAT’S doing dinner right, if you ask me.
Skinny Chicken Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 1T light butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2T flour
- 1.5 cups of fat free milk
- 1T reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
- 2 small grilled chicken breasts (I seasoned them with salt, pepper, cayannne pepper and lemon & garlic Old Bay)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place in a shallow pan cut side down with 1-2T of water. Cook for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Once cooled, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center. Set aside.
In saucepan, melt butter and add garlic. Let cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute while stirring. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with grilled chicken.