Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry with Spaghetti Squash

by Jen on October 25, 2012

Good evening. I’m apologize for being a bit whiney last night but sometimes a girl just needs to be whiney. I’m sure that most of you can relate. It’s like my favorite Pin of the week…

I think I was on my broomstick yesterday and not using my angel wings. ;)

So, while I was teaching BodyPump tonight I was thinking about what I might want for dinner (these are the kinds of things that run through my head when I’m teaching). I thought that Chinese or Thai takeout sounded really good but then I convinced myself to use the food I had in my kitchen and cook at home. I’m trying to cut back on picking up lunch and dinner out here and there so that I can save some money for furniture.

I took my Asian takeout inspiration and what I had on hand and came up with the idea for a chicken and bok choy stir fry over spaghetti squash.

Let’s discuss step one, preparing the spaghetti squash. I am petrified of cutting into winter squash for fear that I will lose an appendage so I tried to microwave the squash whole. Many sources recommended piercing it and placing it in the microwave whole. Don’t believe them. About 4 minutes into cooking I heard a huge boom and instantly knew my spaghetti squash had exploded. I opened the microwave and discovered I was right. Luckily, all was not lost and I was able to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and continue cooking it cut side down with a little bit of water until it was done. Lesson learned.

While the spaghetti squash was cooking I prepped and started cooking the other ingredients. I used a recipe from Martha Stewart as my base and put my own twist on it. Which I’m famous for doing with everything from recipes to workouts. You gotta make it your own.

The finished product turned out exactly as I had hoped so I’m excited to share the recipe with you! I loved using the spaghetti squash as a base instead of noodles or rice. The dish was still very satisfying while lower in carbs but still high in protein.

Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry with Spaghetti Squash
(Recipe adapted from Maratha Stewart)

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I would have used fresh ginger if I had it…love!)
1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional if you want the heat)
3 tablespoons water
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
3 cups halved baby bok choy (about 5 heads, halved)
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
Cooked spaghetti squash, for serving

Prepare spaghetti squash. (I would recommend this method if you’re going to microwave.)

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, chili sauce and 3 tablespoons water. In another bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until coated.

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium high heat and heat oil until thin and shimmering. Add chicken and cook until it starts to brown but isn’t quite done, about 5 minutes. Add bok choy and garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Add vegetable or chicken broth and cover skillet for about 2 more minutes to allow bok choy to wilt.Add soy sauce mixture and cook until sauce thickens slightly, 2 minutes. Serve over spaghetti squash.

Yield: 2 servings

Enjoy and don’t blow up your spaghetti squash! :)

One more thing…I think I’m going to do another video “you ask, I answer” tomorrow so let me know if you have topic requests/questions!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison October 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I’m a runner, but here in rainy Seattle, autumn is tough. I’ve been loving your rainy day workout, but what are other exercises I can add to the circuit to work up a sweat while it’s miserable outside?

PS – Thanks for the inspirational posts — about life, working out, and food! I just got a spaghetti squash in my CSA box so this recipe couldn’t be more timely. I’m going to try it on the family with tofu instead of chicken. Looks tasty!

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2 Ally October 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Your dinner looks delicous! Winter squash are just appearing around here. I’m stocked with sugar pumpkins for pie and puree, acorn, delicata, and butternut. I forgot how fun and satisfying spaghetti squash can be. I’ve been making homemade chicken stock, it’s been a huge motivater for cooking instaed of take-out, it makes everything tastier. I use it for soups/stews, cook grains in it, add it to stir fry and casseroles, you name it. It’s also rich in minerals, glucosamine chondroitin, mmmmm!

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3 JennyV October 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Baked spaghetti squash over the lunch hour and reheated it with veggies and a homemade peanut sauce tonight – great minds!

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4 Corrie Anne October 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm

That looks delicious! Loving the bok choy lately!

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5 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } October 26, 2012 at 6:50 am

Can’t wait to see the video!
Every Fall I swear I’m going to get so into spaghetti squash than I buy some and it just around until it goes bad. I tried to cut into one once and it was dangerous – I’m still trying to find a way to prep it!

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6 Susan October 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

I’m taping my Body Pump video assessment next week. Based on your experience, do you have any tips? Anything you did that you might have done differently?

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7 Paige @ Your Trainer Paige October 26, 2012 at 8:03 am

Yum! And that squash looks like a perfectly shaped almond, haha :)

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8 Sarah October 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

I’ve been afraid of cutting into spaghetti squash, too; it’s very daunting!

Recently, though, I figured out a way that works great for me. Wash and dry the outside of the squash, and then cut it through the middle instead of cutting it from stem to bottom. Roast it in the oven, cut side down, for about an hour in a baking dish with some water. When it’s cool enough to handle, you can scrape out the noodles, and — bonus! — the noodles are longer if you cut the squash this way.

No more terror at getting my chef knife stuck in the middle of a big, fat squash.

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9 Parita @ myinnershakti October 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

I felt the same way cutting into an acorn squash this week. It was scary!

And no need to apologize, we all have our days! I was on a broomstick all last week. :)

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10 Mary Ann October 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

Thanks for your great recipe. A spaghetti squash is on the farmer’s market list for tomorrow.

With all of the popular crossfit exercises, is there one that works on the core without involving shoulders? I have overdone it and now have an inflamed rotator cuff. I miss doing planks, but know that a few weeks off will pay off. Thanks for any suggestions.

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11 Jen October 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

do you have access to a GHD machine? GHD sit ups and hip extensions are super effective for strengthening the core.

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12 Audrey @ Healthy Auds N' Ends October 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

I agree with you about cutting into squashes–successfully cutting/peeling a butternut squash the other night without also cutting off my hand was a big accomplishment!

I’m in college right now and when I’m home for the summer/breaks i LOVE going to BodyPump classes at my gym. Unfortunately the group fitness classes at school don’t include BodyPump classes (most of the weights classes either focus on one muscle group like abs or glutes). I would really like to get my muscles (specifically arms!) more toned and I know that so many women have credited BodyPump for why they have such amazing strength and toned muscles (like you!). What would you suggest is a good alternative to taking BodyPump classes? Granted, I know diet plays a huge role in how toned your body looks but again, I’m also really looking to increase my strength overall.

Thanks Jen! :)

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13 kat October 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

for some reason i just got SO tickled at the mental picture of you hearing your squash blow up in the microwave. still cracking up. thanks for sharing! :)

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14 lauren October 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hi Jen! Could you touch upon getting started in teaching group exercise classes? A friend of mine (who also is a dedicated PBR reader) and I just both took our AFAA group fitness instruction certification exam. I personally am feeling a little bit lost on where to start from here! If you could shed some light/give some pointers, maybe from your own experience in starting out, that’d be great!

that recipe looks delish :)

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15 Grace @ Practicing Grace October 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

Can you talk about how to get amazing arms :) But really? I’d appreciate it!

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16 Tara October 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

Great idea! I have some spaghetti squash and I think I may have to get some bok choy this weekend!

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17 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) October 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Love a new twist on spaghetti squash! I so often get stuck in the classic marinara rut, which though delicious, can get old :)

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18 Addy @ Six-Kick Switch October 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I totally laughed out loud at your spaghetti squash explosion! Sorry you had to clean that up! But I agree with you, cutting into winter squashes = 110% in my chances of visiting the ER. Looks like your dinner turned out delish, though!

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19 Laurin October 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hi Jen! I love your blog– I’ve been reading for a couple of years but this is my first comment! I’m a distance runner (marathons, half marathons, 10ks, etc) but I’m really interested in trying CrossFit. I’m wondering how you feel about CrossFit as a supplement to a fairly intense running schedule (between 40-50 miles/week). Do you think it could be beneficial or would I be at a higher risk for injury? Just curious about your thoughts on this, given that you’re a runner, too! Thanks!

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20 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes October 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm

It’s totally normal to daydream about food when you’re working out, right? Sometimes, that’s all that gets me through the last 10 minutes! ;)

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21 Julie October 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I get scared cutting spaghetti squash too… Total klutz over here! I just came across a recipe that said to roast the squash whole at 375 for 50 minutes and THEN cut it (after it’s cooled), which sounds safe? I plan on trying it next week so we shall see!

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22 Pam October 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

Looks yummy! I’m going to try this with tofu (not a meat eater).
You can whine…then the next day smile and shine forth!
You are real, that’s why I continue to read!

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23 Benthe October 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

Must have been hell to clean your microwave after the explosion! But the dish does look very good :)

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24 She Rocks Fitness October 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Looks delicious! I love cooking with spaghetti squash. It’s so versatile! Stay safe during the hurricane. I’m waiting patiently in NJ for it to hit and seriously hope it’s not as bad as they are predicting. Happy Sunday!

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25 Maureen November 6, 2012 at 1:16 am

Hi-
Love your blog. I’ve been ‘cooking’ my spag sq in the micro for years and have never had a problem. Stab it several times – hard. Don’t use a fork – get serious use a knife. I nuke it for approx 5 mins and then turn it over or re-arrange it. If it hasn’t changed color (from light to dark) give it another 5 mins. cooking time varies with wattage and size of veg.

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26 Jen November 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

maureen – thank you so much for the tips. i’ll give it another try!!!

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