Valentine’s Dinner Recap

It was my night to fix dinner on Valentine’s, so I decided to try to make it special, but healthy. So I found a recipe for a skillet chicken parmesan and decided to pair it with a salad with my pumpkin vinaigrette and spaghetti squash. This was my first time making chicken parmesan and spaghetti squash, so I was a little nervous about how it would all come out.

My "romantic" candlelit dinner was serenaded by a song list on my IPhone.

My “romantic” candlelit dinner was serenaded by a song list on my IPhone.

FIrst of all, the spaghetti squash. It was so much easier than I thought it was! First I stabbed it (quite) a few times with a fork, then put it in a shallow pan in the oven at 350* for an hour. While that was cooking, M was playing a video game and I took the dogs for a walk (productive!).

After the hour was up, I removed the squash from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. I pulled out a serrated knife and cut the squash in half and then cleaned out the seeds. Finally I scraped out the insides with a fork into a bowl, and there you have it: spaghetti squash!

Next came the skillet chicken parmesan. I had gotten a couple of chicken breasts out to thaw that morning, and then did a light coat of a roasted tomato vinaigrette marinade that afternoon.

  1. While the squash was cooking, I took out the chicken, placed it in some plastic wrap and then used the side of a hammer (we don’t have a meat mallet) to pound the breasts to about a 1/4 inch thick.
  2. I then placed them in a skillet with some olive oil and minced garlic for about 3 minutes on each side, then removed them to a plate.
  3. I added some more minced garlic and some diced onion to the pan to cook down a little, then poured a can of crushed tomatos into the pan. I added a little Italian seasoning and some garlic power, then stirred to mix it together.
  4. I remembered I had some roasted zucchini and summer squash from earlier this week, so I added that to the sauce.
  5. In a bowl, combine some bread crumbs with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Coat the two chicken breasts in the bread crumbs.
  6. After the spaghetti squash was done, I turned the oven to broil at 400*, then placed the two chicken breasts in the tomato mixture (I was using an oven-safe pan), topped with some part-skim mozzarella  and place the pan in the oven to brown the cheese and crisp the breading. (Keep your eyes on the cheese so it doesn’t burn.)
  7. Once complete, I assembled the plates with some spaghetti squash, some of the sauce with veggies, and then the chicken breast.

The result: Deliciousness!!

My "romantic" candlelit dinner, complete with a salad and homemade pumpkin vinaigrette.

Dinner: complete with a salad and homemade pumpkin vinaigrette.

I was going to make a (healthy) strawberry shortcake cupcake for our desert, but M brought home some cupcakes from a local bakery (Caramanda’s) that were decorated for the holiday. So, I figure Valentine’s Day is the one respite from Lent and we could treat ourselves.

Valentine's cupcakes from Caramanda's.

Valentine’s cupcakes from Caramanda’s.



2 thoughts on “Valentine’s Dinner Recap

    • I heard cooling the squash made it easier to cut and de-gut, so I tried it that way, and it was pretty darn easy! If you have the time to do it that way, I’d recommend that.

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