This is a tangy, light dish that is great for lunch or brunch. It would also be great to bring to one of those teacher luncheons that we (those of us with kids) are always needing to make something for … This recipe took a few more tries than usual to get it right, but I think I finally have it. The only thing that is potentially still missing is a little crunch. I would have added some toasted almond slivers or sunflower seeds if I had them in the house. You can see what works best for you, of course. You could also make this dish totally vegetarian by omitting the chicken. It would make a nice side for a barbecue if it ever gets nice enough outside again.
Zoodles with Roasted Squash, Cranberries and Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes (for the squash and the chicken)
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed well
- 2 cups butternut squash cut into 1 inch pieces (I bought it peeled and cut and just trimmed it down)
- 4 small zucchinis
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds or sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing/marinade:
- Juice from 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread out squash on the baking sheet and drizzle melted coconut oil over it.
- Stir to coat squash and bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until tender, but not too dark.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Combine all the dressing/marinade ingredients into a small bowl and whisk or stir well.
- Reserve 1/2 of the dressing in a separate bowl.
- Place the trimmed chicken into the bowl and let marinate for 30 minutes if possible.
- In the meantime, spiralize the zucchini into a medium sized bowl using the smallest blade.
- Cut the zoodles with kitchen sheers to desired length.
- Lay marinated chicken out on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle any excess marinade from the chicken bowl onto the chicken before baking.
- Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes until cooked through.
- To the zoodles, add the cooled squash and cranberries and mix well, trying to avoid mushing up the squash.
- Remove chicken from oven and let cool. Then cut into bite sized pieces and add to the zoodles.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the remaining bowl of dressing into the salad and mix well.
- Add additional salt and pepper if needed and more dressing.
- Sprinkle with toasted almonds or sunflower seeds if desired.
- Serve cool or at room temperature.